Religious Voters In The Coming Election – OpEd


President Donald Trump is gaining popularity among American Muslims nationally, according to the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, an American Muslim survey organization. A recent poll published this month found that Muslim approval of Trump’s job performance has increased from 13% in 2018 and 16% in 2019 to 30% in 2020.

But a survey, released on Tuesday by the Arab American Institute (AAI), showed that 59 percent of Arab-identifying voters said they were planning to cast their ballot for Biden, with 35 percent saying they would vote for Trump.

On the other hand, an amazing 83% of Ultra-Orthodox Jews said they will vote for Donald Trump, compared to just 13% who said they’d support Joe Biden. This puts Ultra-Orthodox Jews ahead even of the 83% of white evangelical Americans who support Trump for reelection (62% strongly).

Political surveys of only Ultra-Orthodox Jews are very rare. But a survey of all Orthodox Jews (who are only 10% of the total American Jewish community) conducted in January 2020, provided to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, found that 66% of Ultra-Orthodox voters voted for Trump in 2016, compared to just 32% of Modern Orthodox voters.

Four years ago, Trump won a bigger proportion of white evangelical votes than any Republican presidential candidate in history, and he will win by an even greater proportion in this election; but because the number of white evangelicals have been in steady decline for the last 15 years, their impact will be less.

This decline in Evangelical churches membership is why many white evangelical voters are sympathetic to anti-gay and anti-foreigner white supremest groups. Evangelical Lutherans dropped from 5.3 million in 1987 to 3.4 million now. The Presbyterian Church USA had 3.2 million in 1982 but now is around 1.3 million. The Episcopal Church went from 3.4 million in the 1960s to 1.7 million now.

Mainline faiths with seminary-educated ministers once drew lots of middle class public respect. The Southern Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest Protestant denomination, said it had 14.8 million members in 2018, down by a million and a half since it peaked at 16.3 million in 2006 and the United Methodists, a more liberal Protestant denomination, fell from 11 million in 1969 to below 7 million today – while America’s population almost doubled.

In Pew Research Center telephone surveys conducted in 2018 and 2019, 65% of American adults describe themselves as Christians when asked about their religion, down 12 percentage points over the past decade.

Meanwhile, the religiously unaffiliated share of the population, consisting of people who describe their religious identity as atheist, agnostic or “nothing in particular,” now stands at 26%, up nine points from 17% in 2009.

Fifty-nine percent of white Catholics voted for Trump in 2016 but the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll suggests that the big news with the Catholic vote this year may actually have to do with a shift in white Catholics’ votes toward Biden.

According to the poll, white Catholics now prefer Biden to President Trump by 51% to 45%. That’s a sea change from 2016, when they chose Trump over Hillary Clinton 61% to 37%. But Trump supporters have risen from fewer than a quarter of Latino Catholics who voted for Trump in 2016, to one-third of them who back him now.

The decline of churchgoing Christians in America may undercut the Republican Party, which depends on white evangelicals as the heart of its base.

In contrast, unchurched Americans tend to be compassionate progressives who have become more like Jews who are traditionally the most loyal white voters and contributors in the Democratic Party.

Watch for the expansion of right wing Anti-Semitism and Islamophobia especially among leading anti-vaccine—anti-vaxxer networks operating on Facebook and Twitter, if Democrats take over the senate.

A Garin-Hart-Yang online survey of 810 Jewish voters nationally conducted from September 2 to 7, 2020, found that 67% of Jewish voters disapprove of President Trump’s job performance; and 70% of Jewish voters view Joe Biden in favorable terms, more than 20% higher than the American electorate in general. Two-thirds of Jewish voters say they will vote for Joe Biden vs. the 30% who will vote for Trump.

And three-quarters of Jewish women say they favor Biden. Jewish voters have a much more positive views of the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement than the overall electorate (a CNN national survey showed BLM’s image as 51% favorable and 38% unfavorable), while non-Orthodox Jews have positive feelings toward BLM by better than two-to-one.

Even two-fifths of Jewish Republicans have positive impressions of BLM.

Rabbi Allen S. Maller

Allen Maller retired in 2006 after 39 years as Rabbi of Temple Akiba in Culver City, Calif. He is the author of an introduction to Jewish mysticism. God. Sex and Kabbalah and editor of the Tikun series of High Holy Day prayerbooks.

One thought on “Religious Voters In The Coming Election – OpEd

  • October 30, 2020 at 9:53 pm

    Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians and Methodists are not evangelicals, they are all mainline protestants; all with seminary-educated ministers. The Southern Baptists Commission is evangelical and does not have seminary-educated ministers. This article also says United Methodists are “a more liberal protestant denomination.” Methodists are quite liberal but anyone in America will tell you that Episcopalians are without a doubt the most liberal of all protestants, that is common knowledge and it is strange not to highlight. Rabbi Maller’s numbers and percentages about religious identity are broadly correct but he clearly doesn’t understand who is or is not an evangelical, or which protestant groups are politically liberal or not. I don’t think the Rabbi has any agenda with the misinformation in this article but I also don’t think Eurasiareview should rely on his understanding or American Christianity anymore, he gets it wrong in quite a strange way.


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