News Revelations

Gender gap among Catholics as Election Day approaches

(RNS) Much has been written about the gender divide in the upcoming presidential election, but new research suggests that gap is especially wide among Catholics.

Almost six in 10 (58 percent) white Catholic male voters say they would vote for GOP candidate Donald Trump compared to 38 percent of white female Catholic voters, Public Religion Research Institute reported Thursday (Oct. 27).

And almost half of white Catholic women (49 percent) favor Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton while 33 percent of white Catholic men say she is their choice.

Within Protestant groups of likely voters, there are narrower, but still significant, gender gaps.

“The White Catholic Gender Gap.” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

“The White Catholic Gender Gap.” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

Among white evangelical Protestants — the religious group that by far favors Trump — 71 percent of male voters say they support Trump compared to 60 percent of females.

Within white mainline Protestantism, 54 percent of male voters favor Trump and 31 percent support Clinton. In contrast, white female mainline Protestant voters are equally divided in their support of the two candidates — at 45 percent each.

While Trump is receiving sizable support from evangelicals overall, PRRI’s research shows that Clinton is receiving significant support from black Protestant (90 percent), unaffiliated (66 percent) and non-Christian (58 percent) likely voters.

“The Religion Vote in the 2016 Election.” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

“The Religion Vote in the 2016 Election.” Graphic courtesy of PRRI

Almost half of white mainline Protestant voters (49 percent) favor Trump, while 39 percent support Clinton and 12 percent either favor another candidate, don’t know or refused to answer. About half of white Catholic voters (48 percent) favor Trump, with 41 percent siding with Clinton and 11 percent choosing a different response.

The analysis is based on PRRI surveys from Sept. 22-Oct. 17, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2. percentage points.


About the author

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.


Click here to post a comment

  • Well done! Puts to rest all that malarkey about the “Francis Catholic Vote.” White Catholics in every single poll have preferred Trump above the national electorate.

  • Enough with the mind numbing numbers. The religious or spiritual status of the electorate, after being examined from (almost) every possible angle this election cycle is neither compelling or interesting at this point. Nor will it likely be the determinant.

  • OMG, and they say that they are “Christian?” How can anyone, who is “Christian,” “Jewish” or any faith support Trump, who disrespects women, Muslims, Latinos, Blacks, Asians, and any race but Caucasian, and only those who are wealthy? This agenda is not what Christ, God, Allah or any other religious founder would have supported

  • But of course this site is about religion, therefore . . .

    Edward, if you’re sick of electoral polling and politics in general, I’m right there with you. At the moment of me writing this in the Central Time Zone, we have 249 hours and 20 minutes left.

    Hang on!