Who are the Ted Cruz Evangelicals?

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According to J.D. Vance’s recent piece at National Review, Ted Cruz attracts evangelicals who attend church, while Donald Trump attracts self-proclaimed evangelicals who do not attend church.  Here is a taste:

The South Carolina election results suggest that practicing Christians in the state voted differently than their peers who attend church less regularly. Take, for instance, one of Trump’s strongholds, the area in and around Barnwell County, near the central part of the state. Trump won nearly 43 percent of Barnwell County, while Cruz collected less than 20 percent. Unsurprisingly, church-attendance rates in Barnwell lag behind those in the rest of the state. Compare that to Greenville County, which has one of the highest rates of church attendance in the state: It was one of Trump’s worst counties. The pattern generally holds across South Carolina: Cruz does well where people regularly go to church; Trump does better where they don’t. The so-called Evangelical split is just a mirage, a consequence of a country (and a state) that mostly self-identifies as Christian but manages to largely avoid the pews.

Read the entire piece here

I made a similar argument about Trump’s supporters here.

One thought on “Who are the Ted Cruz Evangelicals?

  1. That is a very informative article. It also indicates the problems Cruz faces in gaining additional supporters. He has tied his campaign to a specific group, but that group is smaller than he and others see it. It is a case of blind perception being challenged by reality.

    I see the same thing mirrored in Catholicism. There are a lot of Catholics in America, but they don’t all go to Mass. Thus when someone says the Catholic vote is going to go one way or the other, they need to consider the difference in Catholicism and that’s just the first division. There are plenty of them.

    Based on the percentages, while 80% of Americans identify as Christian, only 16% actually go to church. How do we read that figure? Is it a comment on the state of Americans regarding their spirituality or is it a comment on the way the churches are failing to respond to the need of the people? (I think 16% is a low figure, but it sure is not anywhere near 50% either).

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