- The Washington Times
Tuesday, September 21, 2021

White Americans who supported Donald Trump but didn’t identify as evangelicals in 2016 were “much more likely” to begin identifying as such by the time of the 2020 elections, a Pew Research Center study shows.

Pew Research has been tracking “a single group of respondents” for its American Trends Panel survey since 2014. The new data comes from surveys after the 2016 and 2020 elections.

According to Pew, the percentage of Whites identifying as evangelical or “born-again” Christians rose from 25% to 29% between the two elections. Two percent of Whites said they dropped the evangelical label during that period.

That growth in the White evangelical cohort came almost exclusively from Trump supporters. Only 1% of those with “consistently cold or neutral views toward Trump adopted the born-again/evangelical label” during the period, Pew said.

Seven percent of non-White evangelicals shed their identification during the period and 7% of non-Whites adopted it, Pew found.

Researchers found “no clear evidence” that White evangelicals who opposed Mr. Trump were “more likely” to bolt from the faith than were Trump supporters.

And Mr. Trump “garnered even more support in 2020” among White voters who identified as evangelicals and voted in at least one of the two elections than he received in 2016.

A separate Pew survey, released in June, noted that Mr. Trump had 84% support from White evangelical Protestants in 2020 versus 77% four years earlier.

Only 15% of White evangelicals and 42% of White Catholics and Hispanic Catholics voted for President Biden, that survey showed. Mr. Trump swept those categories by double-digit margins.

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