Surprising Numbers: Who Actually Voted for Trump? Different People Than You May Think

A recent survey of over 64,000 American adults, conducted in the days following the election, found that only 60 percent of evangelicals actually voted for President Donald Trump, according to The Christian Post.

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A recent survey of over 64,000 American adults, conducted in the days following the election, found that only 60 percent of evangelicals actually voted for President Donald Trump, according to The Christian Post.

This statistic varies considerably from the 81 percent of white evangelicals who admitted in an exit poll they had voted for him. Pew Research defined the 81 percent as a compilation of white, born-again, evangelical Christians.

The discrepancy depends on two factors: how polls are conducted; and how one would define “evangelical.”

Polls base the term on various factors — some on as many as nine factors, as in the Barna poll; or, as in the Cooperative Congressional Election Study, on religious affiliation and tradition.

For example, in the CCES poll, Hispanics, Asians and other minorities were considered evangelical if they belonged to an evangelical church like the Southern Baptists, Free Methodists and other non-denominational churches. According to the same criteria, black evangelicals were considered “Black Protestants.”

Dr. Ryan Burge, a political science instructor at Eastern Illinois University, explained the discrepancy in the polling numbers.

“I got a lot of people asking me why it was so low. Then I went back to make sure I did this right … [tradition would say] … ‘If you are not black and attend a Southern Baptist Church, then you are an evangelical.’ But Pew [Research] says you have to be white to be evangelical.”

If that is the case, explained Burge, then one would omit non-Caucasian Americans as evangelicals who, if thrown into the mix with Caucasians, would “drag down your sample to below 75” percent of supporters who voted for Trump.

Burge added that typing evangelicals is a difficult task that comes not without its own accompanying hazards.

One of the snares encountered by polling agencies was that oftentimes voters did not understand what it meant to be evangelical. The misunderstanding may have skewed the results of the polling data.