November Election: Did Conservative Christians Stick with Trump?
By Courtney Rockness
As votes are pouring in and the election is drawing to a close, the race between the Democratic and Republican presidential candidates remains neck and neck. With so many factors at stake this year, and an incumbent president running for reelection, questions of whether supporters will be won or lost remain up in the air.
These questions have remained prevalent for the religious community, particularly Christians. Voting according to one’s religious morals can be difficult, since neither party perfectly aligns with Christian beliefs. Yet for many, the typical Republican stance on issues such as abortion and religious freedoms have cause them to lean conservative.
However, doubts over Trump’s character and ability to follow through on certain issues have caused conservative Christians to remain split on the matter. Some are fiercely anti-Trump while others remain major Trump supporters.
The White Evangelical Vote
For white evangelical Christians it has tended to be the latter.
According to trends from the 2016 election, white evangelical Christians have historically been in overwhelming support of Trump. Protestants and Catholics, especially those of different races and ethnic backgrounds, have been a bit more hesitant.
As results come in for the 2020 elections, trends seem to be no different.
Seemingly approving of the way Trump has handled the pro-life and religious freedom platforms that they supported him on back in 2016, conservative Christians so far seem to have remained in support of the President.
According to exit poll data reported by the New York Times, white evangelical or white “born again” Christians make up 27 percent of voters. Out of those, 76 percent voted for Trump while 23 percent voted for Biden. Out of the remaining 73 percent of the population (non-white evangelicals, Protestants, Catholics, or non-Christians), 37 percent voted for Trump and 60 percent for Biden.
The Catholic Vote
Amongst the Catholic community, political leanings in this election have been more divided than they have for white evangelicals. Most polls have shown that Biden has a slight overall lead with this demographic. His Catholic background and stance on other important issues tends to be of appeal to Catholic voters. According to one source, Catholics in support of Biden believe that their “pro-life” stance applies to many other issues beyond just abortion. Racism, the state of the environment, poverty, and the death penalty are all issues that deal with the dignity of life as well.
Yet Trump’s following-through on anti-abortion policies and honoring of religious freedoms while he’s been in office has caused him to gain support from the Catholic population over the years just as it has maintained his favor with white evangelicals. That said, the race has been closer this year in some crucial swing states with Catholic voters, the margin between Trump votes and Biden votes very slim.
Only time will tell as the election results wrap just exaclty how each group voted, but for now trends seem to have stayed mostly the same as they were in 2016.