Former President Donald Trump increased his support among White evangelicals during the 2020 election compared to 2016 but lost support among White Catholics and was beaten soundly by President Biden among Black Protestants, according to a new Pew Research report.
The report, released this week, found that Trump received 84 percent of the White evangelical vote in 2020, compared to the 77 percent he received from that demographic in 2016. Biden received 15 percent of the White evangelical support, down slightly from the 16 percent received by Hillary Clinton in 2016.
“Without such broad support for Trump among White evangelicals, Biden would have beaten him by more than 20 points,” the report says.
Black Protestants heavily favored Biden by a margin of 91-9 percent. (Pew did not list the 2016 figures for Black Protestants.)
The report is based on a survey of 11,818 members of Pew Research Center’s American Trends Panel that was conducted between Nov. 12-17 of last year.
But while Trump increased his support among White evangelicals, he lost support in other areas. Nearly three-fifths (57 percent) of White Catholics backed Trump in 2020, down from the 64 percent who support him in 2016. Meanwhile, Biden’s support among White Catholics (42 percent) was significantly higher than that of Clinton (31 percent).
Biden also won a significant majority of the vote of atheists (87 percent) and agnostics (84 percent), as well as among the religious unaffiliated (71 percent). Biden’s support among those who are not affiliated with a religion was an improvement over Clinton’s numbers (65 percent).
“Without the religiously unaffiliated, Trump would have had a 9-point popular vote margin over Biden,” the Pew report said.
Pew said Biden also gained among suburban voters (54 percent for Biden compared to 45 percent in 2016 for Clinton) and men (48 percent compared to 41 percent for Clinton).
Nearly half (46 percent) of voters cast votes by mail or absentee. Among these, Biden beat Trump 65-33 percent. Just over one-fourth (27 percent) of voters cast ballots on Election Day, with Trump winning a majority of these, 65-33 percent. Another 27 percent of voters cast ballots in-person but early. Among these, Trump won, 52-47 percent.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Joe Raedle/Staff
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.