Guest / Limited Access /
In Defeats, Evangelicals' Political Unity at All-Time High
Boris Grdanoski / AP
In Defeats, Evangelicals' Political Unity at All-Time High

While evangelical leaders have long protested that evangelicalism is politically diverse and is a theological identifier rather than a political one, it appears that evangelicals are more politically unified than ever before. But in most results from last night's elections: where evangelicals were largely unified, they also lost.

We know less about evangelical voters this year than we did four years ago because exit polls did not ask as many voters about being a "born again or evangelical" Christian. According to pre-election polls, white evangelicals backed Romney by nearly a four-to-one margin. Romney received a larger slice of the evangelical vote than any previous Republican presidential candidate. At nearly 80 percent, evangelical support for Romney was as strong—and perhaps even stronger—than the support Romney received from Mormons.

If further analysis bears such a figure out, it will be a dramatic benchmark in conservative Protestant voting trends. In 1982, exit polls showed an even 50-50 split of self-identified "born again" voters between Republican and Democratic candidates. That shifted to a 2-to-1 split favoring Republicans in the later '80s and throughout the 1990s. Even when some exit polls shifted the question to ask whether voters were "members of the religious right," two-thirds of such respondents supported Republican candidates. In 2004, "born again or evangelical" voters voted 3-to-1 for Bob Dole. In 2008, Democrats rebounded somewhat, with Obama receiving 29 percent of "born again/evangelical" support to John McCain's 71 percent. To put a four-to-one margin in perspective: It's the same percentage of self-identified ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueHow the Prophet Habakkuk Built an Anti-Fragile Faith
Subscriber Access Only
How the Prophet Habakkuk Built an Anti-Fragile Faith
Lessons on worshiping a consistently unpredictable God.
RecommendedUnder DeVos, the Real School Choice Christians Face
Under DeVos, the Real School Choice Christians Face
The future of public education will depend on the church.
TrendingTrump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Trump Adviser’s Megachurch Withholds Major Donation from SBC
Prestonwood Baptist diverts denominational giving over concerns about Russell Moore’s ERLC.
Editor's PickUrban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Urban Mix-and-Match Religion Didn't Start with Nick Cannon
Why this 'new spirituality' is really just old-fashioned syncretism.
Christianity Today
In Defeats, Evangelicals' Political Unity at All-Time High
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

November 2012

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.