How Did Christians Vote?

How did Christians vote in the presidential election?

This has become one of the prominent issues in this campaign. It is of interest for all kinds of reasons.

Those who analyze elections are trying to determine how the elections work and what makes people vote in certain ways. Those who are running for office want to know how to court certain segments of the electorate.

Christians themselves want to understand how their fellow believers are thinking and behaving.

While exit polling is certainly not completely accurate (we saw that in this election and in others as well), it does give us a general view of what took place.

The exit polling seems to indicate that people of Christian faith voted for Donald J. Trump. Among certain segments of the Christian population, this was in overwhelming numbers. For example, white evangelicals reportedly voted 81% for President-Elect Trump. Evangelicals are generally described as those who believe that salvation comes by grace through faith and not as a result of works (Ephesians 2:8-10). Trump carried the Protestant vote by 58-38% and won the Catholic vote for Republicans for the first time since 2004.

What was it about Donald Trump that made Christians vote decisively for him?

I see three areas.

First, based on the Christians who talked with me about the election, the specter of Supreme Court appointments loomed large. Both sides campaigned that this would be the case. We heard repeatedly from Clinton supporters and Trump supporters who based their vote on what kind of justice the candidates would appoint.

Both sides realized that most of the social decisions in the future would be determined by the court. I believe Christians came to this decision after the court legalized same-sex marriage in the Obergefell Decision. More than anything else, that decision may have turned Christians toward Trump (or away from Clinton).

Second, in a related area Christians have been concerned about the liberty to practice their faith in the way Christ told us–to be salt and light and to live out our faith. They saw Trump as supporting religious liberty in the way it has been understood throughout American history.

It is good to remember that very few countries have religious liberty. We are a unique people with amazing rights. There is a reason why the first amendment is so important.

Third, social media reminded Christians daily that Donald Trump would protect life and that Hillary Clinton supported the right to abortion to the very moment of delivery. I think those views became galvanizing policies for each candidate.

If that is how Christians voted, how should Christians now respond?

First, we must pray for all elected leaders–those you voted for and those you didn’t (1 Timothy 2:1-4). One area of our prayer should be for those who will be appointed to serve alongside the president. A president is like all of us–he will be influenced for good or evil by those who surround him. I want to encourage you to pray for Godly people to come alongside the president-elect.

Second, we must treat those who voted differently with kindness, understanding, and respect. That’s the American way but more importantly the command of Christ.

Third, we must be good citizens who obey all laws that do not violate the commands of Christ (Romans 13:1-7).

Finally, we must not fall in love with a candidate; we must love Christ and serve Him only. “Do not put your trust in princes, in human beings, who cannot save” (Psalm 146:3, NIV). The New Living Translations warns us “Don’t put your confidence in powerful people; there is no help for you there.”

“Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Colossians 3:17).

This is the only true way to live as a Christian.

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5 Comments


  1. Scott Hymel
    Nov 16, 2016

    Ironically, Trump opined yesterday that same sex marriage is the law of the land and he wouldn’t do anything to upset that .


  2. Glenn
    Nov 16, 2016

    This is the problem with media. Not all Christians are Republicans nor do they all support Trump. I am a Christian and a proud Democrat, as are my mother, father, both grandparents and siblings. There are many of us who feel ostracized by the how politicized Christianity is becoming. I may not agree with everything the Democratic platform advocates, but I feel that they put the interests of all Americans first and personally feel that their domestic and foreign policies do more to help the average American than the Republicans. It greatly upsets me that the Republican Party has hijacked Christianity and it makes me sick to my stomach that so many Christian leaders have openly endorsed Trump. Although I do not agree with his policies, I will continue to pray for him as I have done for President Obama and for our nation. I guess I just want people to realize that there are Christians who vote Democrat, we just get overlooked by clergy and the media.


  3. Ken Lane
    Nov 16, 2016

    Never have I felt so out of touch with my Christian brethren as I do now. With 81% of white evangelicals voting for Trump, several of the evangelical leaders openly endorsing Trump, and a majority of Christians and Catholics voting for Trump, I am having a really difficult time understanding how Christians could reject the teachings of Jesus to vote for a man and a campaign that openly expressed views in opposition with what we as Christians say we believe.

    First, he expressed hate and anger instead of love toward those who disagreed with his viewpoints.
    Second, he expressed bitterness toward women with his crude remarks that Christians apparently dismissed as locker room talk and which some evangelical leaders such as Jerry Falwell, Jr. told Christians to ignore.
    Third, he made fun of the disabled.
    Fourth, he instilled fear in and threatened immigrants who have come to this country even though his wife is an immigrant.
    Fifth, He lied and people accepted it. Politifact (Pulitzer Prize winning truth-checker) which compares candidate statements to evidence found that Trump’s statements were verifiably false 76 percent of the time.
    Sixth, in regard to the poor, he has been silent on poverty, hunger, and oppression in direct opposition to the mission of the church to feed and care for the poor.

    I find it highly uncomfortable to think that I can be sitting in church and the four people around me denied the love that Jesus taught us to vote for a candidate that opposed His teachings. And please do not tell me that Christians voted for the lesser of two evils and I need to get over it. I do not believe as Christians we should ever endorse any type of evil and I do not think I will ever get over this election in which Christians forsook the teachings of Jesus.

    Finally, I fear that we as Christians have inflicted severe damage on our ability to keep people–especially the so called Millennials–in the church or bring them back to church. The ones to whom I have spoken have been highly vocal of the failure of the church to show love and caring during this election and say that the church only reinforced this belief. I fear that the decline in church membership will be accentuated by this election.

    Andy Crouch, executive editor of Christianity Today, an evangelical magazine founded by Billy Graham, stated “Enthusiasm for a candidate like Trump gives our neighbors ample reason to doubt that we believe Jesus is Lord.” I am wary that our churches will go on as if this too shall pass.

    I hope I am wrong. I fear I am not. I apologize for not being positive. I readily admit I am struggling over the impact the results of this election has made on me in terms of my view of the church and its present direction. Pray for all of us.


  4. bill marshall
    Nov 16, 2016

    My vote was cast more against Clinton than in favor of Trump. Trump is likely not the most honest President-elect we’ve ever had, but when it come to integrity, it’s my opinion that Clinton has none.


  5. Lara Batchelder
    Nov 16, 2016

    Thank you for your calming words, Pastor. We do need to pray for our leaders and follow our true King!

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I am the senior pastor of First Baptist Church, Covington, Louisiana, a position that I have held since 1989.

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[To the Church in Laodicea] “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. — Revelation 3:14,20 (NIV)