NASHVILLE, Tenn. (LifeWay Research) – Evangelicals seem ready to cast their ballots in the 2020 election. Nine in 10 evangelicals by belief are registered to vote, and few are undecided about their presidential choice.
A new survey from Nashville-based LifeWay Research, conducted Sept. 9-23, finds President Donald Trump with a sizable lead over Democratic nominee Joe Biden among likely voters with evangelical beliefs. Deep divides, however, persist among evangelicals across ethnic lines.
Overall, 61% of evangelicals by belief plan to vote for Trump and 29% for Biden. Other candidates garner around 2% combined. Fewer than 1 in 10 (8%) are undecided.
Evangelicals by belief are also twice as likely to identify as a Republican (51%) than a Democrat (23%). One in 5 (20%) say they are independent.
Voting plans for Americans without evangelical beliefs are almost the mirror opposite of their evangelical counterparts, with Biden holding a commanding 56% to 33% lead over Trump.
President Trump’s advantage among evangelicals, however, comes primarily from white evangelicals, among whom he leads Biden 73% to 18%.
African Americans with evangelical beliefs overwhelmingly plan to vote for Biden (69% to 19%). Among American evangelicals of other ethnicities, however, Trump has a 58% to 32% lead.
Compared to a previous LifeWay Research survey conducted in the months leading up to the 2016 election, more white evangelicals say they plan to vote for Trump this time (73% to 65%). However, more also say they plan to vote for Biden than said they planned to vote for Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee four years ago, (18% to 10%).
While almost a quarter of white evangelicals were undecided or supporters of a third party in 2016, few say the same in 2020. Only 2% back a third-party candidate this year, compared to 8% four years ago. And while 16% were undecided in 2016, that number fell to 7% this year.
Individuals with evangelical beliefs who identify with the two largest political parties plan to be loyal to their party’s candidate. Among Republicans with evangelical beliefs, 91% say they are voting for Trump. Eight in 10 Democrats with evangelical beliefs (81%) support Biden.
Among likely voters who identify as Christian and attend church at least once a month, support for Trump and Biden is evenly split (46% to 45%). As with evangelicals, ethnic divides are also present among churchgoers.
White churchgoers back Trump 59% to 30%, while African American churchgoers are solidly behind Biden (86% to 9%). The former vice president also has a sizeable—though smaller—lead among Hispanic churchgoers (58% to 36%) and churchgoers of other ethnicities (49% to 36%).