Four years ago, Donald Trump secured the support of self-identified religious voters, which proved beneficial to him in key battleground states and also assured the Trump-Pence ticket carried the South.
But this time around, many religious voters are making it clear they don’t consider Trump to be representative of the values they hold dear, and even a marginal decrease in their support could spell doom for the incumbent’s hopes of winning a second term, according to Politico:
“Months after worries first exploded inside the Trump campaign over his eroding support among white evangelicals and Roman Catholics, some of the president’s top religious allies are now in a panic — concerned that Joe Biden’s attentiveness to Christian voters, whom Democrats largely ignored in 2016, is having an impact where the president can least afford it.”
Biden, a devout Catholic who regularly attends mass and speaks of how his faith has helped see him through tragedies such as the death of his son, Beau, of brain cancer, is gaining traction among voters who consider themselves to be religious, with a recent survey conducted by Vote Common Good showing that Biden is indeed cutting into Trump’s support among what was once a stronghold of GOP support:
“(That survey) predicts an 11 percentage point swing toward Biden among evangelicals and Catholics who backed Trump in 2016, based on input from both demographics across five major 2020 battleground states: Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Other polls have captured similar gains in Biden’s religious support, including an August survey by Fox News that showed the former vice president at 28 percent support among white evangelicals — up 12 percentage points from 2016 exit polls for the Democratic nominee.”
Imagine Biden getting a 3 to 5-point bump among religious voters. That could prove to be catastrophic for Trump, most notably in states that are trending blue demographically such as Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia. Trump was victorious in Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina, but appears to be losing support this time around. And if the president loses three of those four states come November, his path to 270 electoral votes would be almost impossible.
Doug Pagitt, a Minnesota-based pastor and an executive director of Vote Common Good, summed up the contrast between Biden and Trupm and how it will impact who wins the election:
“Joe Biden is getting support from religious voters who don’t even know what his religious background is. This isn’t tribal voting. There’s an enormous amount of religious Americans who didn’t think there were good options in 2016 and voted for Trump, but now see Biden as the superior option.”