Midwest Evangelicals Helped Trump Lose the Election
2020 has been a year unlike any other. In the midst of a global pandemic, Americans cast their votes for the candidate they believed would make the best president for the next four years.
And in this historic year came an historic defeat, as Republican nominee Donald Trump lost the presidential race to Democratic nominee Joe Biden, marking the first time since 1992 that an incumbent president of the United States lost his bid for a second term.
Yet there is one key demographic group that may have ensured Biden's victory: midwest white evangelicals.
Support among white evangelicals, who make up about one-fifth of the U.S. voting population, "slipped around 5 percentage points nationwide to 76 percent, and more in a few battleground states," according to Newsweek. For example, the site explains that Kent County, Michigan, an evangelical center, flipped from a Republican majority to a Democratic majority between 2016 and 2020, as Biden earned 50,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton did.
This wasn't mere coincidence. Organizations such as Catholics for Biden, The New Moral Majority, and Vote Common Good made it their mission to defeat Trump. They took actions such as making commercials showing evangelicals pledging to vote against Trump, taking a bus tour around the country, and holding rallies.
For instance, Vote Common Good put on a "His Words Matter" billboard campaign that contrasts biblical teachings with Trump quotes. "We believe words matter. We believe Jesus’ words and teachings matter. We believe the President’s words matter. We believe that the words of the President stand in opposition to the words of Jesus Christ."
One billboard displays a picture of Jesus with the words "You cannot serve two masters," while the other side displays a picture of President Trump with the words "Support me or you'll be so god@#n poor." These billboards can be found in Pennsylvania and Michigan, among other states.
"I think parents should have to justify to their children, to one another, to their friends, to their pastors and obviously to themselves that this is the man they're voting for," Doug Pagitt, pastor and executive director of Vote Common Good, told the Detroit Free Press. "Christian voters take their votes so seriously that they will absolutely calculate that in, and we want to make sure that when they do, they're not missing any information that they might need to do so."
Another religious organization that supported Mr. Biden was Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden. While the organization disagrees with Biden's stance on abortion, it does oppose "one issue" political thinking and single issue voting. "Poverty, lack of accessible health care services, smoking, racism and climate change are all pro-life issues," a petition released by the group reads.
"It is indisputable that there was an organized effort from the evangelical left to unseat President Trump," Everett Piper, author and former president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, told Newsweek. "If it weren't for Christ's promise that, in the end, the gates of hell will not prevail against his true church, I'd suggest the Body of Christ just committed cultural suicide by naively handing the gun to its executioner," he later added.
While the intersection of religion and politics is nothing new, Americans' religious beliefs will continue to affect who they vote for in the years to come.