Respondents identifying as white, born-again evangelicals increased from 2016 to 2020, as did the number who voted for Donald Trump, according to a Pew Research Center report published Sept. 15.
Analyzing data from its American Trends Panel (ATP) surveys conducted after both the 2016 and the 2020 election, Pew found a four-point increase in white U.S. adults who identified as born-again / evangelical. This brought the total respondents self-identifying with this label to 29% in 2020
Those identifying as white, not born-again evangelicals declined by three points to 17% of respondents between the two surveys.
By comparison, the number of non-white respondents identifying as born again / evangelical declined by one point to 25%, while those identifying as not born-again / evangelical dropped four points to 15%.
“There has been no large-scale departure from evangelicalism among white Americans,” the report said. “In fact, there is solid evidence that white Americans who viewed Trump favorably and did not identify as evangelicals in 2016 were much more likely than white Trump skeptics to begin identifying as born-again or evangelical Protestants by 2020.”
Among white evangelicals, 60% voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020, while 18% voted for him in 2020 but not in 2016, 9% voted for Trump in 2016 but not 2020, and 13% did not vote for Trump in either election.
A June Pew analysis of post-election data revealed that Trump’s support among white evangelical Protestants had increased from 2016 to 2020, rising from 77% to 84%. By comparison, white non-evangelical support for Trump remained unchanged at 57% and white Catholic support dropped from 64% to 57%.
Pew looked at frequency of religious service attendance and voting patterns in an August analysis, finding an overwhelming majority of white evangelical Protestants voted for Trump no matter how frequently they attended services – 85% Trump support among at least monthly attendees and 81% among those attending a few times a year or less.
By comparison, white non-evangelical Protestants were more evenly divided with 51% of monthly attendees voting for Trump in 2020 and 59% of those frequenting a service a few times a year or less.
The full report is available here.