Posted on October 22, 2020

White Christians Continue to Favor Trump over Biden, but Support Has Slipped

Gregory A. Smith, Pew Research Center, October 13, 2020

President Donald Trump continues to be White Christians’ preferred candidate for the November election, but support among voters in three major traditions – White Catholics, White Protestants who are not evangelical and even White evangelical Protestants – has slipped since August, according to a new Pew Research Center poll.

Democratic candidate Joe Biden, by contrast, is leading the presidential contest among every other religious group analyzed in the survey, including Black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, Jews and the religiously unaffiliated. {snip}

Among White Catholic voters, Trump is ahead of Biden by 8 percentage points: 52% in this group say they would vote for Trump (or lean that way) if the election were held today, while 44% favor Biden. This gap has narrowed significantly – Trump was 19 points ahead of Biden (59% to 40%) the last time this question was asked in a poll conducted in late July and early August.

Support from White Protestants who do not consider themselves to be evangelical or born-again has dropped at a similar pace: 53% say they would vote for Trump if the election were today, down from 59% who said this in the summer poll. Even White evangelical Protestants have softened slightly in their support for Trump, though they overwhelmingly remain on his side: 78% of White evangelicals intend to cast ballots for Trump, compared with 83% who said this in August.

Biden, meanwhile, is currently favored by 90% of Black Protestant registered voters, 70% of Jews and 67% of Hispanic Catholics. Among people without a religious affiliation, Biden is the preferred candidate for 83% of atheists and agnostics, and 62% of people who describe their religion as “nothing in particular.” {snip}


While support for Trump has dropped among all three groups of White Christians analyzed in the survey, support for Biden did not see a corresponding (statistically significant) jump. {snip}


White Christians are a key segment of the electorate because they make up roughly 44% of  U.S. registered voters. Roughly 7% of registered voters are Black Protestants, 5% are Hispanic Catholics, 2% are Jewish and 28% are religiously unaffiliated.