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Trump retains vote of white Evangelicals

06 November 2020

Biden predicted to win support of white Roman Catholics

PA

Voters queue along the road to the voting station in Vaughn Park Church of Christ, in Montgomery, Atlanta, on Tuesday

Voters queue along the road to the voting station in Vaughn Park Church of Christ, in Montgomery, Atlanta, on Tuesday

PRESIDENT TRUMP’s vote among white Evangelicals — a group which, in the last election, gave him about 80 per cent of their votes — has held up strongly, despite reports that it had been declining in recent months.

A new group set up last month, Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden, which is made up of prominent Evangelical leaders, including the chairman of the board of the magazine Christianity Today, John Huffman, suggested that the President’s appeal might be on the wane. The group said that they supported Mr Biden, despite disagreeing with his stance on abortion rights.

But a final tally of exit polls from Tuesday’s election, which probe the demographics behind support for each candidate, showed that President Trump had won 76 per cent of the white Evangelical votes cast on the day, according to a poll by the Associated Press.

PAFences have been erected around the White House, including at the front of St John’s Episcopal Church, in case of post-election protests in Washington

In Georgia, the exit poll suggested that 85 per cent of white Evangelical Christians had voted for President Trump, and just 14 per cent voted for Biden.

Mr Biden was predicted to win more of the support from white Catholics — he is Catholic — whom Trump won over in 2016.

As a demographic, white Catholics are concentrated in the key “rust belt” states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, which are crucial to victory for both candidates.

President Trump and Mr Biden had both targeted faith groups in their campaigns: Trump focused on Evangelicals, and Biden reached out through Evangelical media and radio campaigns.

But Dr Scott Waller, a professor of political science at Biola University, told Christianity Today on Wednesday that President Trump’s first four years had pleased Evangelicals, despite the controversies. “I haven’t seen anything the President has done in the last four years that has dissuaded Evangelicals that he isn’t their man: his judicial appointments, his executive orders pertaining to religious freedom, the positions of his justice department in key issues.”

With the result still undecided when the Church Times went to press, the Washington National Cathedral held a service of healing, unity, and hope. The live-streamed service was led by the Bishop of Washington, the Rt Revd Mariann Budde, and the Dean, the Very Revd Randy Hollerith.

“As ballots are counted and winners and losers determined, we will pray for a renewed sense of national unity, calm, and perseverance for the challenges that lie ahead,” they said.

The Episcopal Church’s public policy network also organised a “non-partisan” prayer vigil, with music and reflections and prayer, throughout the night on Tuesday.

Episcopal priest elected. The Revd Kim Jackson, who ministers to Atlanta’s homeless community (News, 30 October), was reported to have won a seat in the Georgian state senate in the early hours of Wednesday.

She becomes the first openly gay woman to be elected to the state senate, and only the third black LGBTQ woman to be elected to any state senate. She intends to continue as priest at the Church of the Common Ground, which serves Atlanta’s homeless and vulnerable, with the blessing of her bishop.

The result of the presidential race had still not been called in Georgia as the Church Times went to press on Wednesday. A Republican stronghold, it had become an unexpected battleground in the fight for the presidency.

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