Trump nabs majority of evangelicals, while Clinton grabs plurality of atheists and agnostics, poll shows
Posted October 12, 2016
At this point in the 2016 presidential campaign, it appears Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has some notable advantages over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a new survey from the Barna Group.
The results show Trump has secured a majority of evangelical Christians (55 percent) as well as adults who have a biblical worldview (57 percent), with Clinton capturing a plurality of atheists and agnostics (61 percent) as well as self-described environmentalists (64 percent).
Overall, the research shows Trump attracted 16 distinct voter segments, with Clinton clinching 14 population segments, though it seems — at least based on the survey of 1,023 U.S. adults — that Clinton has the upper hand.
While it's been a challenge thus far, large percentages of Christian groups have, indeed, agreed to support Trump, though it is unclear whether recent revelations about lewd sexual comments he made in 2005 will eat away at that base.
"Each of the candidates has a variety of voter segments for which they are the preferred option. But when you examine the size and nature of those segments, Clinton has a clear advantage," researcher George Barna said in a statement. "Notice that while Trump handily wins the conservative vote, and Clinton handily wins the liberal vote, she also triumphs among moderates."
And that's not the only barrier for Trump, according to Barna.
Clinton also captures a larger potion of liberal voters than Trump does conservatives, further diminishing his base of support. Additionally, while Trump is winning a larger share of evangelicals, that cohort is also less enthusiastic than they were for each GOP candidate in the past five elections.
Now, let's dig a little deeper into the various groups supporting each candidate.
On the Trump front, the businessman is also beating Clinton among non-evangelical born-again Christians (49 percent to 31 percent) and people who believe in absolute moral truth (48 percent versus 37 percent).
The margin is even greater when it comes to those who call themselves theologically conservative, with 60 percent supporting Trump and 28 percent opting for Clinton. Additionally, 57 percent of people currently serving or who have previously served in the military are supporting Trump, according to Barna.
Trump also captured the majority of gun owners and pro-lifers — but Clinton also has her own doting cohorts.
On the faith front, she captured 48 percent of Christians who are not born again, compared to the 36 percent who support Trump, as well as 45 percent of Catholics versus the 35 percent who would opt for Trump.
And while Trump attracts more gun owners, pro-lifers and NASCAR enthusiasts, Clinton attracts 71 percent of LGBTQ rights advocates as well as 47 percent of those who regularly shop at Wal-Mart; those proportions for Trump are 17 percent and 41 percent, respectively.
One other notable finding: Clinton leads among those who are optimistic about America's future (53 percent versus 32 percent).
The polling was conducted among 1,023 adults aged 18 and older from Sept. 12-19, 2016. See the complete results here.
Much speculation has surrounded whether Trump — a candidate known for his brash comments and oft-times unscripted behavior — would be able to grab the support of America's more conservative religious cohorts.
As for the independent voter factor, another recent poll did, indeed, show that Clinton's lead appears to be driven, in part, by those unaffiliated with either the Democratic or Republican parties.
The Quinnipiac University poll found that Clinton was up five points over Trump among likely voters due to what CNN called "a boost in independent support."
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