A poll conducted by Public Religion Research Institute and The Atlantic has much to say about white evangelicals in the United States.
- 61% of evangelicals believe that the United States is moving in the right direction. This compares to 64% of all Americans who believe that the United States is moving in the wrong direction.
- 79% percent of white evangelicals believe “media bias” is hurting the country. 50% of religious unaffiliated people believe this.
- 77% of white evangelicals view Trump favorably. 17% of non-white Protestants view Trump favorably.
- 52% of white evangelicals feel negatively about the very real possibility that whites will be a minority in the United States by 2043.
On the last point: When Trump said last week that immigration was changing the “culture” of Europe, he was appealing to a significant portion of his evangelical base.
Here is a taste of Yonat Shimron’s article at Religion News Service:
“I argued that white evangelical voters have really shifted from being values voters to being what I call ‘nostalgia voters,’” said Jones. “They’re voting to protect a past view of America that they feel is slipping away. That’s driving evangelical politics much more than the old culture-war dynamics.”
Brantley Gasaway, a professor of American religious studies at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa., said white evangelicals’ fears about the nation’s growing racial diversity might be linked to their perception of religious diversity.
“They perceive that America becoming less white means America will become less Christian,” he said. “I don’t think that’s true. Many Latino immigrants are coming from predominantly Christian nations. But they perceive changes in racial demographics as being a threat to the predominance of Christians in the United States.”
As a group, white evangelicals are declining. A decade ago they made up 23 percent of the U.S. population; today it’s more like 15 percent, Jones said. But they have an outsize influence at the ballot box because they tend to vote in high numbers.
The one area where religious groups appeared united is in their support for legislation that would make it easier to vote — measures such as same-day voter registration and restoring voting rights for people convicted of felonies.