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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

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. sounds alarm on Ukraine

Conscripts line up at a Russian railway station yesterday before departing for Army service. Photo: Sergei Malgavko/TASS via Getty Images

The Biden administration is "deeply concerned" by new intelligence — detailed for Axios and other outlets — showing Russia stepping up preparations to invade Ukraine as soon as early 2022.

Why it matters: Most of this was known from public sources and satellite imagery, but the administration is sending a stronger signal by releasing specific details from the intelligence community.

CNN fires Chris Cuomo

Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for CNN

CNN said Saturday evening it has fired one of its star anchors, Chris Cuomo, following new revelations from a legal review made by the company into Cuomo's involvement in the management of his brother's sexual harassment scandal.

Why it matters: Saturday's firing speaks to how much pressure CNN was under by employees and critics to address Cuomo's behavior.

Updated 5 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Electric car prices could go up before they come down

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The secret to affordable electric vehicles is cheaper batteries. But after years of falling prices, battery costs are now headed in the wrong direction.

Why it matters: Costlier batteries could drive up the price of electric vehicles — threatening the auto industry's transition away from fossil fuels, and, in turn, society's fight against climate change.