"Joe Biden" by Gage Skidmore / CC BY-SA 2.0

How Biden swung the religious vote

Nov 11, 2020

By Gabby Orr

It wasn’t until Election Day, when returns showed counties across Michigan, Georgia and the industrial Midwest leaning toward Joe Biden due to a groundswell of religious support, that the Trump campaign realized it had a problem.

For months, President Donald Trump’s top aides and religious allies dismissed his softening support with white evangelicals and Catholic voters as a polling fluke — another media-spun narrative intended to frighten the incumbent Republican and his top donors. No president had ever done more for these demographics, they claimed, pointing to the unfettered access many conservative Christian groups had to the Trump administration and the influence they wielded over policy priorities and judicial nominees.

“You can look at the polls but at the end of the day, the president will perform very well with Catholic voters because he has delivered for them in so many ways,” senior Trump campaign adviser Mercedes Schlapp, a Catholic herself, said in an interview just days before the election.

In the end, surveys of early voters and exit polls showed they may have been the difference in his loss.

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