Thursday, August 16, 2018

Trump's White Evangelical Base

A WaPo article (from last June) about the politics of various evangelical groups in the US points out something fascinating about the 2016 presidential elections:

...according to Election Day exit polls, 80 percent of white evangelicals supported Donald Trump. Among all other – nonevangelical — whites, 59 percent voted for Hillary Clinton.
I had not seen that difference put so clearly elsewhere.  What it means is that the white evangelicals are an important part of Trump's base. This should be hilarious, given that Trump is anything but a religious man, and because religious people are supposed to walk their talk.  But it could be the case that religion in this context is a tribal marker rather than as a confession of faith.

The linked article suggests that white evangelicals' vote for Trump was driven by their fear of losing racial and religious status.  This may also explain why rank-and-file white evangelicals approve of Trump's refugee policies and dislike immigration in general.

For my take on how that vote might also link to anxiety about gender, see this post.