Evangelical support for Trump slipped, along with his re-election prospects

Christian defectors likely to cost trump

As Democrat Joe Biden’s prospects to become President of the United States grow more likely as the vote count proceeds, one key factor has been revealed in exit polls.

Asked “Are you a white evangelical or white born-again Christian?” along with how they voted, 76 per cent of those who responded “yes” said they voted for Trump and 23 per cent for Biden.

Of those who are not white and evangelical, 60 per cent supported Biden and 37 per cent for Trump.

At the 2016 election, the same exit polls showed white evangelical support for Trump at 81 per cent. In those polls, about 26 per cent of voters identified as white evangelicals.

The 2020 results return the white evangelical vote to within range of the 2012 and 2008 levels.

In 2012, 78 per cent of the white evangelical vote supported Republican candidate Mitt Romney at the election that saw Barack Obama re-elected.

In 2008, Republican John McCain got 74 per cent of the white evangelical vote when Barack Obama was first elected.

In October, Pew Research polling predicted that Trump’s support among white evangelicals had slipped. That poll predicted 78 per cent support for Trump and the actual result appears to be 2 per cent lower.

The Pew Research poll also predicted strong Black Protestant support for Biden, and white Catholic support for Trump. This is likely to be confirmed when more exit poll information becomes available.

In an election system that centres on tight state-by-state polls, a small shift by key groups may well affect the presidential result. Without state-by-state research, it is hard to say for certain, but a quarter of the electorate moving away from Trump by 5 per cent, could well have flipped some states.

For example, the margin in Wisconsin is likely to be 20,000 out of 3,300,000 voters – about 0.6 per cent. But 5 per cent of Wisconsin’s evangelical voters – which are 22 per cent of the population (according to Pew Research) – would be roughly 36,000 voters.

Other figures will work for Michigan and Pennsylvania (if Biden wins there). In Michigan, the margin is .4 per cent as Eternity writes. About 5 per cent of Michigan evangelicals (who are 25 per cent of that state’s adults) is 1.25 per cent.

Without the drop in evangelical support for Trump, the result – if Biden wins – would be different.