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In 2016, Trump claimed victory over Hillary Clinton in large part due to the support of the White evangelical and catholic communities in the US. According to PRRI, more than eight in ten, equal to 81 percent of white evangelicals, supported Donald Trump in the 2016 election.
White evangelical christians comprise a large portion of the US voter share, with 26 percent of all voters falling into the demographic.
A new Data for Progress tracking poll has found that Trump enjoys 50 percent support from white catholics.
In comparison to Joe Biden, who holds 38 percent support, Trump is seeing a 12 point advantage in this demographic.
The news comes as Biden has led in national polls in recent weeks, and is a boost to Trump’s re-election bid.
As the George Floyd protests began to rage across the US and the coronavirus pandemic continued to devastate the economy, surveys of voters showed Trump’s hold on the white christian demographic slipping.
White evangelic support for Trump dropped by about 10 points due to the crises in the country.
But pollsters and analysts say that an overwhelming majority of the group will still support the Republican in his re-election bid on November 3.
Dr. Ryan Burge, Eastern Illinois University associate professor and pastor, told Newsweek Tuesday he believes the double-digit decline in white evangelical support for Trump between May and June was a “blip,” and that Trump will still win at least 75 percent of their vote this year.
Burge adds that news media efforts to portray white christians as abandoning Trump are false.
He cited an evangelical vote tracking poll of 3,100 Americans released earlier this month, and confirmed that 10 percent of the white evangelical vote was lost after the St. Johns Church controversy.
June 1 saw Trump deploy police and National Guard troops to disperse protestors outside the church, where they used tear gas and riot control gear to clear the crowds for the president to take a picture in front of the building.
Despite the controversy, Burge said white Catholics and white evangelicals will still be Republicans on election day.
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In contrast to evangelicals, white catholic support has not wavered amid the coronavirus pandemic and George Floyd protests.
In April, 52 percent of white Catholics surveyed by Burge said they support Trump, compared to 36 percent for Biden and 7 percent saying they are unsure.
About 50 percent of white Catholics surveyed in June said they still support Trump.
However, both numbers are down from the 59.7 percent of white Catholics who backed Trump in a November 2018 poll conducted by Burge.
Burge also told Newsweek that white evangelicals are unimportant compared to white Catholics, who may support Biden just enough to put him over the top in states like Pennsylvania.
A Pew Research Center survey conducted earlier this year found that only 35 percent of Americans think Trump is even “somewhat religious,” compared to 46 percent who said the same of Biden.
Trump has previously self-identified as a “Presbyterian Protestant,” while Biden is a practicing Catholic.
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