In 2016, President Donald Trump won the support of Americans that were “seeking what they had lost because they had lost church,” according to Washington Examiner commentary editor Timothy P. Carney in an article for The American Conservative.
Trump’s base of support during the 2016 Republican primaries could be best described as “white evangelicals who do not go to church,” because they live in an area where those “institutions. . . are drying up.”
Although Trump won about 32 percent of Republican primary voters who attend church more than once a week, he won 55 percent of those who “seldom” attend church, and 62 percent of those who never attend.
“That is, every step down in church attendance brought a step up in Trump support, and vice versa,” Carney writes. “The most frequent attenders were half as likely to support Trump as were the least frequent attenders.”
Pollster Emily Ekins of the Voter Study Group, who worked with Carney on his upcoming book, “Alienated America,” divided Republican voters into separate groups, including the “Free-Marketeers” and the “Staunch Conservatives,” and found that Trump’s strongest support came from “Preservationists,” who were the least likely to attend church but the most likely to say that religious is very important to them.
Carney used information from the Association of Religion Data Archives on Iowa, and found that “the higher the religious adherence, the lower the Trump vote,” particularly in “the more rural counties.”
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