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This faction of Evangelical Christians could save American democracy — if they want to

November 14, 2018 in Blogs

By Amanda Marcotte, Salon

Stop looking for evangelicals to bail on the GOP.

It's time for journalists and pundits to get over their fantasy that white evangelicals will someday grow a conscience, stop voting for Republicans, and start voting for the ostensible Christian values of charity and love. This contradiction, between the supposed white evangelical commitment to morality and their tendency to vote for politicians who snatch food from the hungry and wreck the planet for future generations, has long bedeviled many political observers. But this collision between stated values and actual values grew even more ridiculous when white evangelicals flocked to chronic adulterer Donald Trump, despite spending decades piously declaring that they had to vote Republican because of their views on sexual morality and marriage.

Going into 2018, we were once again subject to the hope that white evangelicals — especially younger folks and women — would be disgusted after two years of Trump's corruption and brazen immorality. This hope led, unfortunately, to misleading articles that used anecdotal evidence to suggest that a significant number of conservative Christians would turn against Republicans at the polls. The New York Times was especially invested in this idea that there was likely to be a major shift in the voting behavior of self-identified white evangelicals.

“Young evangelicals are questioning the typical ties between evangelicalism and Republican politics,” Elizabeth Dias wrote in the New York Times before the election.

“Beto O’Rourke May Benefit From an Unlikely Support Group: White Evangelical Women,” blared the headline on another Dias story.

In July, Dias was promising that “the Trump presidency does not inspire lockstep allegiance among evangelicals” and that these religious conservatives were “especially concerned about the administration’s stance on immigration and race,” as well as about Trump's sexual immorality.

The New York Times even gave a coveted spot on “The Daily” podcast to Dias, to promote this idea that we might see a large shift to the left among white evangelicals.

Despite all the hype, exit polling now indicates that 75 percent of self-identified white evangelicals voted Republican in 2018, while only 22 percent voted for Democrats. Yes, that undeniably represents a shift from 2016, when 80 percent voted …read more


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