With exactly a month to go for the November elections, a sizeable number of Protestant pastors remain undecided about which candidate to vote for, according to LifeWay Research. In the previous two elections, the pastors were in favor of Republicans.
Here is the breakdown of results regarding support from pastors:
- Undecided: 40 percent;
- Trump supporters: 32 percent;
- Clinton supporter: 19 percent;
- Johnson supporters: 4 percent;
- No plans to vote: 3 percent.
In the previous polls, the pastors held a different view, where Republicans were favored by a 35 and 40 percent margin, The Washington Post reported.
This year, Trump's lead over Clinton is just 13 points, the poll revealed. The evident reason behind this is that not many pastors support Trump, hence still remain undecided.
Religious heads have been left divided in their opinions over taking their pick. Despite Trump receiving endorsements from leaders such as Jerry Falwell Jr. and the Rev. Robert Jeffress, many including Southern Baptist theologian Russell Moore and author Max Lucado have opposed his candidature.
Pastors appear more reluctant to endorse outside church walls this year than they did in 2012. While 22 percent of Protestant pastors said they have endorsed a candidate outside of their church role, numbers in 2012 were double (44 percent).
"Enthusiasm for endorsements appears to be waning this year," Scott McConnell, director of LifeWay Research, said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the poll also found that a strong 88 percent of pastors believe American Christians have a biblical responsibility to vote.
The poll was conducted from Aug. 22 to Sept. 16 this year, which is slightly early as compared to previous years when the survey took place in late September/early October in 2012 and October in 2008.
The survey had 1000 participants and sampling error did not exceed plus or minus 3.2 percent.
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