The Gospel Coalition is reporting that only 35 to 45 percent of all evangelicals in America voted for Donald Trump— a staggering difference from what other media reports have said evangelicals voted: about 80 percent.
The Gospel Coalition says the voting patterns are off because the single survey only allows whites to identify as “evangelical.” Thus, the exit polls only capture the “white evangelical” vote.
“This means the exit poll literally has no way to determine how evangelicals voted,” Joe Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition writes. “It doesn’t even try to do so.”
The exit poll also lumped together “evangelical” and “born-again” distinctions.
“While almost all evangelicals would describe themselves as “born-again,” not all who identify as a born-again Christian would say they are evangelical,” Carter said. “For example, some Mormons even consider themselves to be “born again Christians,” yet no evangelicals (that I’ve ever known) would consider Mormonism a branch of evangelicalism.”
Thirdly, the polling did not ask any clarifying questions about church identity, meaning many respondents could have simply answered “evangelical” and have not been to church in years.
“To the media, such distinctions may be unimportant,” Carter said. “But if we are seeking a fair and accurate representation of actual evangelicals, it’s important to distinguish them from those who do not truly subscribe to evangelical beliefs and practices.”
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Publication date: November 15, 2016
Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.