Religion Unplugged

Faith and politics: Five revealing questions to ask on Election Night

By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged

Editor’s note: Every Friday, “Weekend Plug-In” features analysis, fact checking and top headlines from the world of faith. Got feedback or ideas for this column? Email Bobby Ross Jr. at

When it comes to Tuesday’s big vote, politics matter.

So, too, does religion.

On Election Night, here are five revealing questions that Godbeat pros will be asking:

1. Was President Donald Trump able to maintain his overwhelming level of support — roughly 80% in 2016 — among White evangelicals?

“If that number is significantly lower, I would think it has to do with younger evangelicals and maybe women evangelicals getting fed up,” said Kimberly Winston, an award-winning religion reporter based in California.

The pre-election outlook? Trump is “losing ground with some — but not all — White Christians,” reports FiveThirtyEight’s Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux.

On the flip side, Christianity Today’s Kate Shellnutt highlights evangelical voters who express “more faith in Trump” than they did four years ago.

2. What difference did Catholic voters make, particularly in all-important swing states?

NPR religion correspondent Tom Gjelten notes that in 2016 “it was not the evangelicals who carried Trump to victory but Catholics, a group he had rarely mentioned in his speeches.”

Read the full column.

This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.

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