Trump supporters swell evangelical pews. Is it faith or politics?

 Trump supporters swell evangelical pews. Is it faith or politics?

After years of stagnancy, the number of white Evangelicals surged from 25% of the adult U.S. population in 2016 to 29% in 2020, according to a Pew Research survey.

But this growth was fueled almost entirely by white supporters of former President Donald Trump, who began to embrace an evangelical identity after he was elected and accounted for the subgroup’s 6-point increase nationwide. Those who dropped the label, including the online movement of “#exvangelicals,” accounted for only a 2-point decrease.

Why We Wrote This

Many white Evangelicals think about their Christian identity as being explicitly tied to ideas of national identity. “Preserving or strengthening a commitment to religion is a way to strengthen an overall identity,” says a professor of modern Protestant theology.

“We can’t impute causality as to why the people who became evangelicals became evangelicals,” Gregory Smith, associate director of…

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