Home Daily Buzz The Surprising Motive Driving Both Evangelicals and ‘Nones’ to Vote in November

The Surprising Motive Driving Both Evangelicals and ‘Nones’ to Vote in November

Pew Research just released findings from a new survey, revealing how voters would vote today.

The survey paid particular attention to white evangelical Protestants and religious “nones” (those who don’t affiliate with any particular religion). These two groups are quite large and could have big sway in the outcome of the election in November. White evangelical Protestants make up one-fifth of all voters in the U.S. (and one-third of the registered Republicans) while the religious “nones” make up another one-fifth of all voters (and more than a quarter of Democrats).

So how do these two groups lean?

Of the 1,655 registered voters surveyed, the majority of white evangelical protestants say they would vote for Trump (78%) and the majority of religious “nones” would vote for Clinton (67%) if they had to vote today. What may come as a surprise, though, is that the white evangelicals are not happy about their vote for Trump. In fact, of those who said they would vote for him, the majority would do so just to prevent Clinton from taking office, not necessarily because they genuinely support a Trump presidency.

This half-hearted support of Trump is similar to voters’ reaction to Mitt Romney in the 2012 election, although Trump seems to have slightly more genuine support from white evangelicals than Romney did.

Among the religious “nones,” things don’t look much better for Clinton. Most of those who say they would vote for her claim to do so just to vote in opposition to Trump.

Black protestants and Hispanic Catholics, however, seem to have their minds made up. They are overwhelmingly for Clinton, with 89% of black protestants saying they would vote for her and 77% of Hispanic Catholics pledging the same.

Across the board (Republicans, Democrats, Independents, etc.), people are not happy with the choices for president. As Pew states, “overall satisfaction with the choice of candidates is at its lowest point since 1992, with roughly four-in-ten voters (41%) saying the choice between Clinton and Trump is a tough one because neither would make a good president.”

Despite people’s lack of enthusiasm for the candidates, though, the survey found more people are taking an interest in this election versus the 2012 election. Pew states that religious groups feel “it ‘really matters’ who wins the election and that they have been following news about the candidates.”

Another note of interest from the findings is that “there is a strong consensus that church endorsements of political candidates is crossing the line.” In other words, two-thirds of Americans think churches should not endorse or favor one candidate over another during an election season.

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Megan Briggs is a writer and editor for churchleaders.com. Her experience in ministry, an extensive amount of which was garnered overseas, gives her a unique perspective on the global church. She has the longsuffering and altruistic nature of foreign friends and missionaries to humbly thank for this experience. Megan is passionate about seeking and proclaiming the truth. When she’s not writing, Megan likes to explore God’s magnificent creation.