These 3 Charts Show Evangelicals Are Selling Out for Donald Trump
2. Minimizing politicians' religious beliefs.
When it comes to voting for president, white evangelicals have altered their standards in the past five years. On a question which would be fundamental to the Religious Right — "how important is it for a candidate to have strong religious beliefs?" — evangelicals have become less stringent.
In 2011, nearly two thirds (64 percent) of white evangelicals said it is "very important" for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. In 2016, less than half (49 percent) said so. Five years ago, only 28 percent said a presidential candidate's strong religious beliefs are only "somewhat important." This year, that number is up to 39 percent.
In the last five years, a full 3 percent more white evangelicals said it is "not at all important" for a presidential candidate to have strong religious beliefs. This specific difference might be within the margin of error, but the overall shift is clear — white evangelical Protestants are loosening the religious standards to which they hold political candidates.
Next Page: The third graph explains why.