Barna Group: 43% of Evangelicals Refuse to Vote for Trump or Clinton

These results confirm what many Evangelicals probably know already by intuition – that the Evangelical movement is highly divided this election cycle.

Not surprisingly, the data show that this election is unusually divisive. The Barna Group noted that Evangelicals have overwhelmingly supported the Republican candidate in recent decades. While a majority of Evangelicals support Trump, their support for the Republican candidate has typically been at least 20 percentage points higher. This indicates that Evangelical backing for Trump is comparatively very weak.

 

Evangelicals find themselves in a predicament this election cycle, with both major political parties nominating unattractive candidates for president. Many say they won’t support either one. The Barna Group released a poll on October 11 showing that 43 percent of Evangelicals refuse to support either Republican nominee Donald Trump or Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Although Trump has a huge lead over Clinton among evangelicals, the most noteworthy finding in this regard is that more than four out of ten evangelicals currently refuse to vote for either of those two candidates,” wrote George Barna, special election analyst and founder of the Barna Group, commenting on the results.

According to the Barna Group’s poll, 55 percent of Evangelicals said they would vote for Trump and only 2 percent said they would vote for Clinton if the election were held today. This left 43 percent who said they would not vote for either of the major candidates.

“Nearly three out of ten are presently undecided, making them the largest block of undecided votes still up for grabs,” George Barna noted. “One out of eight evangelicals plan to protest the quality of the major party candidates by voting for a third-party or independent candidate.”

These results confirm what many Evangelicals probably know already by intuition – that the Evangelical movement is highly divided this election cycle. “Not just the candidate choices, but the conflict they’ve created among my Evangelical friends and colleagues is taking its toll,” IRD’s Evangelical Programs Director Chelsen Vicari wrote on September 8.

Not surprisingly, the data show that this election is unusually divisive. The Barna Group noted that Evangelicals have overwhelmingly supported the Republican candidate in recent decades. While a majority of Evangelicals support Trump, their support for the Republican candidate has typically been at least 20 percentage points higher.

This indicates that Evangelical backing for Trump is comparatively very weak. If these statistics bear out in the election, George Barna said this would be “unique over the course of the last nine election cycles” for Evangelicals.

Other similar Christian traditions also widely supported Trump, with substantial segments either undecided or voting for a third-party candidate. Trump led Clinton among “theologically conservative” Christians (60 percent to 28 percent), “non-evangelical born again Christians” (48 percent to 37 percent), and Protestant church-goers (47 percent to 32 percent).

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