Analysis by Harry Enten, CNN
Updated 10:20 AM ET, Wed January 1, 2020
(CNN) Much has been made of President Donald Trump’s strong standing with voters on the religious right, especially after a Christianity Today editorial called for Trump to be impeached and removed from office. The editorial generated a lot of press because Trump won white born-again evangelicals with more than 75% of the vote in 2016 and his approval rating with them remains at 75% in CNN/SSRS polling taken in the middle of last year.
Figures such as these, however, can often obscure as much as they reveal. Trump’s standing with all religious voters — and, in particular, nonwhite religious voters — is considerably weaker than it is among white evangelicals.
Heading into the 2020 general election, Trump can certainly count on the strong backing of white born-again evangelicals. If he loses, however, it’ll be in part because his approval rating is only in the low 40s among those who attend religious services at least once a week and are not white born-again evangelicals.
Even when we concentrate on born-again evangelicals, there are plenty of nonwhite Americans. In fact, nearly 40% of born-again evangelicals nationwide are not white. This includes nearly 20% who are African American. (In a Democratic primary, the majority of born-again evangelicals are nonwhite.)
Simply put, Trump’s not popular with nonwhite born-again evangelical voters. His approval rating with them was a mere 29% in an average of April and May CNN polls. Among African American born-again evangelicals, Trump’s average approval rating was just 7%. These figures are pretty much unchanged from the percentage of these groups who voted for Trump in 2016, according to the Cooperative Congressional Election Study (CCES).