Conservative Christians showed up en masse to vote in the 2020 election, a new survey conducted by George Barna’s team has discovered. Polling people immediately after the November 3rd election, Barna found that not only did conservative Christians show up to vote at a greater rate than any other demographic in the U.S., they also supported President Trump nearly unanimously.
“Donald Trump would have lost by a landslide had a significant slice of the voting populace—conservative Christians who are active both spiritually and politically—not turned out and voted for him in overwhelming numbers,” a press release from Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center states.
Barna dubbed the group SAGE Cons—an acronym for Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservative Christians. Among this group, 99 percent turned out to vote, compared to 66 percent (which was a record high in its own right) of eligible voters in America who cast a ballot this year. SAGE Cons almost unanimously voted to keep Trump in office with 97 percent of the group casting their vote for him.
As Barna’s press release on the survey results explains, while SAGE Cons has yet to make it to household-word status, they represent a very significant voting bloc in the United States:
SAGE Cons represent 9 percent of the adult population but their extreme level of turnout enabled them to constitute slightly more than 14 percent of the voting population. In raw numbers, there were approximately 23 million SAGE Con votes cast. With 97 percent of those going to Donald Trump, the SAGE Con bloc provided the president with a net margin of more than 21 million votes.
What Sets This Group Apart From Your Average Christian?
The big thing that sets SAGE Cons apart from your average American Christian is what Barna defines as a biblical worldview. Nearly half of SAGE Cons possess this worldview, which is a significantly higher rate (seven times higher) than the general population. Earlier this year, Barna and his team at Arizona Christian University’s Cultural Research Center conducted its American Worldview Inventory 2020, which found the following:
Nearly half of SAGE Cons possess a biblical worldview, making them more than seven times more likely than other adults to do so. They strongly hold to traditional biblical teachings, tend to be more politically conservative, and are highly likely to put their worldview into action when they vote.
Why did Conservative Christians Vote for Trump?
The motivation behind the overwhelming support for Trump among conservative Christians shifted from 2016 to 2020. In 2016, this group was essentially voting against Hilary Clinton when they cast their ballots for Trump. In 2020, by comparison, this group was taking much more of an active supporting role of the President. While they indicated they didn’t always appreciate Trump’s social media activity, they did approve of the policies he enacted while in office.
Specifically, what they appreciated was Trump’s anti-abortion measures (IE: reenacting the Mexico City policy), his Supreme Court appointments (the most recently one being hastily getting Amy Coney Barrett appointed before the new administration takes office), and his outspoken support for religious freedom. Other motivations included his positions on law and order, rule of law, obeying the U.S. Constitution, and the economy.
Barna commented on the overwhelming support Trump received in 2016 and how it compares to 2020:
“In 2016, Donald Trump was put over the top by the 91 percent of votes he received from an unexpected and largely ignored voter segment,” Barna noted, referring to SAGE Cons. “This year he was expected to carry that segment in a big way, but nobody would have predicted 99 percent turnout and 97 percent support from them—or from any large-scale voter segment. It is an astonishing display of consensus and support that, statistically speaking, is not likely to be outdone.”
Conservative Christians Question the Election Results
Another note from the survey suggests that SAGE Cons don’t trust the election results that show Joe Biden as the winner. A full 78 percent expected Trump would win the election this year, and 79 percent believe there were “numerous instances of abuse” that impacted the election results.
The survey questioned 6,000 SAGE Cons, 2,000 Semi-SAGE Cons, and 1,000 adults randomly selected from the general public through an online survey conducted November 4-16th.