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White regular churchgoers in US more likely to have voted for Trump in 2020

10 September 2021


“I voted” stickers on a table on Presidential election day 2020, at a polling station in St John the Apostle RC church, Ellettsville, Indiana

“I voted” stickers on a table on Presidential election day 2020, at a polling station in St John the Apostle RC church, Ellettsville, Indiana

WHITE American regular churchgoers are more likely to have voted for Donald Trump than for Joe Biden in last year’s US presidential elections (News, 13 November 2020), new research suggests.

Analysis of votes by the Pew Research Center found a direct correlation between Trump voters and white Americans who attended at least one religious service a month. Those who attended church less frequently were more likely to vote for Mr Biden.

This correlation did not hold up for black Christians, however: they were overwhelmingly more likely to support Mr Biden, however often they attended a service, the research showed.

Seventy-one per cent of white, regular churchgoers voted for Mr Trump, while only 46 pent of white infrequent churchgoers supported him.

Of black churchgoers, 90 per cent of frequent churchgoers voted for Mr Biden, as did 94 per cent of infrequent churchgoers.

The Republican candidate’s influence on white Evangelical voters stayed strong: 85 per cent of white Evangelical Protestants who were frequent worshippers voted for him, and 81 per cent of less frequent Evangelical Christian worshippers.

In 2020, Mr Trump had managed to extend his support among these voters from his base in the 2016 contest against Hillary Clinton.

Mr Trump also secured the majority of the white Roman Catholic vote, winning 63 per cent of those who attended mass regularly, compared with 36 per cent for Mr Biden, despite Mr Biden’s being Roman Catholic. Less frequent mass-goers still supported Mr Trump over Mr Biden, by 53 to 47 per cent.

White voters who are not affiliated to a particular denomination — a category known as “religious nones” — continued to be more likely to vote Democrat, as in 2016.

President Biden’s election-winning share of the vote was built up with support from black Protestants and those who identify as atheist or agnostic. He also won the support of 64 per cent of voters from other faiths, including Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, and others.

The report was based on a survey of just under 10,000 voters in the 2020 election: a sample size that did not allow for an analysis of voting preferences for Hispanic or Asian Americans.

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