White evangelical support for the Democratic presidential candidate dropped from 2016 to this year, according to research by the Faith & Freedom Coalition. Eighty-one percent of self-identified white evangelicals voted for President Donald Trump, while 14 percent voted for Biden.
“Trump’s 81 percent of the evangelical vote tied his 2016 total, while Biden won the lowest share of the self-identified white evangelical vote ever received by a Democratic presidential nominee,” the coalition said in a statement after the conference, labeling it a record turnout of evangelicals.
The totals may have come as a surprise to liberal evangelicals who said abortion should not have been a deciding factor and who spent millions to defeat the President.
Ralph Reed, founder and chairman of the coalition, said that despite the Democratic candidate’s extensive outreach, he believes evangelicals mostly rejected Biden because they are driven by principles, values and specific public policy positions, not partisanship or personality. Reed contrasted the pro-life actions of the Trump administration with Biden’s pro-choice record, including his recent decision to oppose the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits taxpayer funding of elective abortions, after years of supporting it.
“Look at the other issues,” Reed said. “Religious freedom. When the Little Sisters of the Poor decision was announced by the Supreme Court, Joe Biden released a statement and said if he were elected president, he would reimpose those regulations — regulations that by a 7-2 margin, the Supreme Court had just ruled were unconstitutional.”
Reed pointed out that although “they threw some money at” serious evangelical outreach, “it not only didn’t work, they actually did worse than Hillary Clinton did.”
Evangelical voters comprised 27 percent of the electorate, which was a 1 percent increase from the 2016 election, saying that the evangelical vote went from approximately 35.6 million in 2016 to approximately 43.2 million in 2020.
The results may have been a shock for the Biden campaign which had devoted significant time and money to persuade evangelical voters.
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice