Trump Leads Biden 2-to-1 Among Evangelicals, But Ethnic Divides Remain, Poll Shows

Written by on September 29, 2020

President Trump is running ahead of where he was four years ago among evangelical voters, although deep divides remain among ethnic groups, according to a new LifeWay Research survey.

The poll of 1,200 Americans conducted Sept. 9-23 found that Trump leads Democratic nominee Joe Biden among evangelical likely voters, 61-29 percent. Four years ago, Trump led Hillary Clinton among that group in an October 2016 poll, 45-31 percent. Eight percent of evangelical likely voters are undecided; four years ago, it was 15 percent. 

Although Trump has made significant inroads among evangelical voters in four years, major divides remain among whites, African Americans and other ethnicities. 

Trump leads Biden among white evangelicals, 73-18 percent, while Biden leads among Black evangelicals, 69-19 percent. Trump leads among evangelicals of “other ethnicities,” 58-32 percent. 

Trump’s support among white evangelicals also has increased in four years, from 65 percent in 2016 to 73 percent today. Yet Biden also is receiving more support from white evangelicals than did 2016 nominee Hillary Clinton (18 percent for Biden to 10 percent for Clinton). 

“Voting for or against an incumbent president is a more certain situation for voters,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. “Fewer Americans including those with evangelical beliefs are on the fence than at this same point in 2016.”

Meanwhile, 91 percent of evangelicals are registered to vote, according to the survey. 

LifeWay Research defines “evangelicals” as those who strongly affirm four statements: 1) “the Bible is the highest authority for what I believe;” 2) “it is very important for me personally to encourage non-Christians to trust Jesus Christ as their Savior;” 3) “Jesus Christ’s death on the cross is the only sacrifice that could remove the penalty of my sin;” and, 4) “only those who trust in Jesus Christ alone as their Savior receive God’s free gift of eternal salvation.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Spencer Platt/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-Chroniclethe Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.

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