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More than two-thirds of white evangelicals continue to support President Trump, along with almost half of white Catholics and white mainline Protestants, according to a new study released by Pew Research Center.

Expand chart
Reproduced from Pew Research Center; Chart: Axios Visuals

Why it matters: White evangelicals consistently have a disproportionate impact on elections and were key to Trump's 2016 victory. They only made up 15% of the population in 2018, but accounted for more than a quarter of midterm voters, according to Robert Jones, the CEO and founder of the Public Religion Research Institute. Ahead of 2020, Trump remains their favorite candidate.

  • Non-white Protestants and Catholics, as well as the religiously unaffiliated, are overall significantly less likely to support Trump.

Between the lines: Support for Trump has fallen over the past few years among white evangelicals, but they remain the only religious group with a majority that favors Trump. Their support has been bolstered by the willingness of several prominent religious leaders to publicly defend Trump.

  • Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, even defended Trump's "very fine people" statements on the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville in 2017. He told ABC at the time: "He has inside information that I don't have. I don't know if there were historical purists there who were trying to preserve some statues."
  • Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham, explained to Axios on HBO last fall why the church continues to support Trump despite his immoral behavior: "I never said he was the best example of the Christian faith. He defends the faith. And I appreciate that very much," he said.

The bottom line: U.S. demographics are quickly changing, and the GOP will not always be able to count on the voter groups — such as white evangelicals — that they have long depended on. But as 2016 proved, the white, religious vote still carries a lot of weight.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”