In 2016, White evangelicals voted for Donald Trump more because they were “against Hillary Clinton” than they were for the current President. But now, according to a new Pew Research Center poll, with nearly one term under Trump’s belt, White evangelicals are more motivated to vote out of support for Trump than to ensure a loss for Joe Biden.
According to Christianity Today, a recent poll released by Pew, showed that 57 percent of white evangelicals are voting “for Trump” while only 20 percent are voting “against Biden.” This is a big increase from 2016 when only 30 percent were voting “for Trump” and 45 percent were voting “against Clinton.”
Tony Suarez, executive vice president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, shifted his perspective after four years of Trump. After serving on the president’s faith advisory panel in 2016, he now believes it’s “his call” to campaign for Trump.
“He respects prayer, receives prayer, and respects the faith community, but he gets a bad rap,” Suarez said.
Many minority faith leaders don’t share Suarez’s view, however. According to the same study, 90 percent of Black Protestants said they will vote for Biden and over half said it was because of his policies. However, 75 percent of White evangelicals who will vote for Biden will do so because they are “against Trump.”
A growing number of faith-based, anti-Trump groups have cropped up as election day nears, including Republican Voters Against Trump, Christians Against Trumpism, Evangelicals for Biden, and Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden.
“We believe Christians who use, excuse and embrace toxic rhetoric to achieve specific policy ‘wins’ are short-sighted and wrong,” said Christians Against Trumpism.
Many faith leaders believe that outside of abortion, Biden’s policies are more aligned with Scripture than Trump’s.
Not Our Faith, a recently formed Super PAC designed to splinter Christian support of Trump, launched a six-figure campaign focused on digital and TV ads. Former Obama faith adviser Michael Wear said in an interview that Trump has “in a predatory way attached himself to Christians.”
Race also serves as a dividing factor in presidential support amongst pastors, who follow similar trends as their congregations. Nearly 70 percent of White pastors will vote for Trump while 61 percent of Black pastors will vote for Biden.
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Mikaela Mathews is a freelance writer and editor based in Dallas, TX. She was the editor of a local magazine and a contributing writer for the Galveston Daily News and Spirit Magazine.