Trump Divides White Evangelical, Catholic

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Donald Trump garnered support from about 8 out of 10 white evangelical Christian voters in the reunion race, but Catholic voters were almost evenly split between him and Democratic rival Joe Biden, according to the AP votecast.

Trump’s strong hold on white evangelical voters shows a twinkle of religious conservatives with the GOP’s enduring success, who have been the linchpin of the president’s political base since the 2016 victory. The path to the president’s second term has narrowed, however, amid a split between Catholics between Trump and Biden, a lifelong member of the faith.

The AP votecast showed 50% of Catholics supporting Trump and 49% supporting Biden, indicating the longstanding role of the faith. As a closely contested vote in presidential elections — especially in the Rust Belt battlegrounds such as Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won both of those states by less than 1 percentage point in 2016, but Biden prevailed in both of them this year. More than 110,000 voters nationwide were surveyed for the Associated Press by the NORC at the University of Chicago.

Prior to the election, rival campaigns targeted Catholics with an appeal to vote based on their faith. Trump supporter Loyalists said Biden should not vote because of his support for Catholic abortion rights, while Biden backers said Trump was too divisive and failed to raise social justice issues that were part of Catholic teaching.

Former President Barack Obama’s past faith adviser Michael Ware said he indicated that the Biden campaign has a focus for religious voters – including several advertisements for former Vice Presidents implementing Catholicism – that paid off. Biden will be only the second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy.

“Biden’s political outlook has been transformed into these results,” Wear said, who helped lead a Beapartisan Super PAC that was the objective of this collapse Christian support of Trump. “He ran away because he believed he wouldn’t lose the Rust Belt, when the nominee did in 2016.”

Michael New, an anti-abortionist who teaches social research at the Catholic University of America, said that some Catholic voters were opposed to the possibility of abortion, even if they disagreed with him on other issues.

This year, Catholic voters accounted for 22% of the electorate, and there was a sharp rift between their ranks by race and ethnicity.

White Catholics hold 57% of Trump and 42% of supported Biden, according to Vote Cathast. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of voters, in 2016, Trump won 64% of white Catholics and Clinton won 31%.

Among Hispanic Catholics, the votecast featured 67% supported Biden and 32% supported Trump.

“The election results show that the Catholic Church is as divided as our nation, but the real division is race and ethnicity, not theology,” said David Gibson, director of Fordium University’s Center on Religion and Culture.

He said the gap between the white Catholic vote for Trump and the Latino vote for Biden has become a challenge for church leaders, especially if the Republican Party continues to woo white voters with anti-immigrant rhetoric.

Gibson said via email, “If the Republican Party continues to try to raise calls for white grievances and fear of immigrants to rally the white Catholic vote, it could create more problems for the Catholic Church itself Is because it is via email. ”

Catholics were not the only religious groups vociferously represented by the Biden campaign, which also demanded With some areas of white evangelical voters to cut Trump’s gains. Yet the president’s commanding performance with that bloc raises questions about whether future Democratic campaigns will make similar efforts.

Ryan Burge, a political scientist at Eastern Illinois University who focused on religious voting patterns, said white evangelicals “may be as red as they are” and suggested that future Democratic expectations focus more on white Catholic and Hispanic evangelicals She gives.

“There’s no way to peel off, because there’s no spike” among white evangelicals who favor the Republican agenda, Burge said.

Among voters with no religious affiliation, Biden took 72% while Trump took 26%. And the votecast found several other religious voting blocs that were overwhelming for Biden, largely in line with his previous choice for Democrats.

Jewish voters made up 3% of the electorate and with 68% support, compared to 31% of Trump, overshadowed Biden. Among Muslim voters, 64% supported Biden and 35% supported Trump. In the Pew Research Center’s 2017 survey, nearly two-thirds of American Muslims identify as Democratic or lean toward the Democratic Party.

A bright spot for Trump among religious voters was his performance among members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. In 2016, Trump won the state of Utah – with his large population of church members – with less than 50% support as third-party candidate Evan McMullin, himself a church member, won more than 20% of the vote.

While 67% of Faith members voted for Republicans in the midterm of 2018 according to Votecast, Only 56% said then that they approved Trump to deal with his job.

But this year, with any third-party candidate on the ballot, Trump had the support of 71% of Saints nationwide, while 24% supported Biden.


Report reported from New York. Associated Press writer Hannah Fingerh contributed.


AP is a poll of American voters conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago for VoteCast, Fox News, NPR, PBS NewsHour, Univision News, USA Today Network, The Wall Street Journal, and The Associated Press. As soon as voting closed, the survey of 110,485 voters was completed for eight days. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish. The survey mixed a random sample of registered voters drawn from state voter files; Self-registered registered voters using the NORC prospect based AmeriSpeak panel, which is representative of the American population; And self-registered registered voters were selected from the non-proportional online panel. The margin of sampling error for voters is estimated to be plus or minus 0.4 percentage points. Learn more about the functioning of AP VoteCast at


Associated Press religion coverage is supported from the Lily Endowment through the Religion News Foundation. AP is fully responsible for this content.


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