Looking for Hope After November 8

Sarah Eekhoff Zylstra | November 5, 2016

Most Americans can at least agree on this: The 2016 presidential election cycle has been a long one, and it will be a relief when it’s over.

Perhaps November 9 will be especially welcomed by American evangelicals. From the early days of the primaries, the polarizing Donald Trump has split a group that’s voted together for several decades.

While 78 percent of white evangelicals voted for the Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012, less than half of those with evangelical beliefs plan to vote for Trump in 2016 (45 percent). But that doesn’t mean they’re voting for Clinton (31 percent). In fact, almost a quarter of evangelical believers, as of one month ago, hadn’t decided on a candidate or planned to vote third party (23 percent), according to a LifeWay Research poll.

Looking for post-election unity, then, may not be easy.

“Evangelicals are not as unified as some have thought,” LifeWay Research executive director Scott McConnell said, explaining the major polls that show evangelicals voting for Trump are limited in two important ways. First, respondents are asked to identify themselves rather than agree they adhere to certain beliefs. Second, these evangelical numbers are limited to Caucasians.

But nearly two-thirds of evangelicals aren’t white, and more than three out of…

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