I see a lot of online articles on this topic. The answer is simple. The overwhelming majority of those who identify with the term “evangelical” will vote for Republican candidates.
Here are a some close races where the white evangelical vote will be significant:
- In Texas, there is some anecdotal evidence that some white evangelical women might vote for Beto O’Rourke in the state’s U.S. Senate race. But this is just anecdotal evidence. Most white evangelical women will vote for Ted Cruz. Nevertheless, if enough white evangelicals break from Cruz and vote for Beto (even if the number is small), it could be enough to get Beto over the top in a very close race.
- If Josh Hawley defeats Claire McCaskell in the Missouri Senate race, it will be because white evangelicals backed Hawley, an attender of an Evangelical Presbyterian congregation. I should add that pseudo Christian Right historian David Barton played a role in this campaign.
- In Tennessee, Marsha Blackburn is getting most of the evangelical vote in a tight U.S. Senate race. Blackburn is a member of Presbyterian Church of America congregation in Nashville.
- If Scott Walker wins another term gubernatorial term in Wisconsin, it will be because white evangelicals rallied to his side.
- In Virginia’s 7th congressional district, incumbent David Brat, a Hope College and Princeton Theological Seminary graduate with a Ph.D. in economics from American University, is going to need white libertarian evangelicals to help him hold off Abigail Spanberger.
- In North Carolina’s 13th congressional district, incumbent Ted Budd is getting a strong challenge from Kathy Manning. Budd is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary and attends Twin City Bible Church in Winston-Salem. (In February 2018, Budd introduced a resolution in Congress to honor Billy Graham).
- In North Carolina’s 9th district, an open seat, Mark Harris, a Southern Baptist clergyman, graduate of Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, and employee of Campus Crusade for Christ, is running against Democrat Dan McCready, a former U.S. Marine and Eagle Scout. McCready is also a man of deep Christian faith who claims that he was “baptized in the water of the Euphrates River” during his military service in Iraq. The race is a toss-up.
- In the Florida governor’s race, Democrat Andrew Gillum has an evangelical running-mate. Chris King attends an Evangelical Presbyterian Church, was active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, was a member of Campus Crusade for Christ at Harvard, and once worked for progressive evangelical Jim Wallis. (We covered him here).
Do you know of any other close races where the white evangelical vote might make a difference. Tell us about it in the comments section.