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US elections 2020: Trump's support dips among white evangelical Christians, exit polls show

Drop could have played a role in key battleground states, including Michigan, where white evangelicals are reported to have 'abandoned' Trump
Christian evangelicals represent one-fifth of all eligible American voters
In the 2016 election, Christian evangelicals made up one-fifth of all registered voters (AFP/File photo)
Par MEE staff à Washington

Support for US President Donald Trump dipped among white evangelical Christians during the 2020 election, according to exit polls.

A survey found that 75 percent of white evangelical Christians voted in favour of Trump over Democratic rival Joe Biden, down from the 81 percent he won in 2016.

The loss in voters could have played a role in key battleground states, including Michigan, where exit polls showed "a critical percentage of white evangelical voters abandoned President Donald Trump this year".

Trump's support among the voter group was only 70 percent, according to Vote Common Good, a Christian organisation that campaigned against the president's reelection.

Still, in the state of Georgia, which narrowly swung in favour of Biden on Friday, 85 percent of the faith group voted for Trump, while 14 percent voted for Biden.

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Many other faith groups voted in favour of a Biden presidency. Catholic Americans switched to the former vice-president, who is Catholic himself, by a small margin, with 51 percent casting their ballots for Biden. Just 47 percent of Catholics voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016.

Catholics make up a sizeable proportion of the voting population in the states of Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, often referred to as the "Rust Belt" for the states' decline in industrial manufacturing.

White Catholics represent 12 percent of the population, while Hispanic Catholics represent an additional five percent.

Around 64 percent of registered US voters identify as Christian, down from 79 percent in 2008. Meanwhile, the share of voters who don't identify with a religion has nearly doubled during that time, from 15 to 28 percent.

In 2016, Trump won among all three major categories of white Christians - white evangelicals, white Catholics and white mainline Protestants - who form 43 percent of registered voters.

A vast majority, 77 percent, of American Jews voted for Biden, according to a J Street poll.

According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the country's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organisation, nearly 70 percent of registered Muslim voters turned out for Biden, with 17 percent casting their ballot for Trump.

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