Evangelical Christian voters moved to Trump in a way that highly educated voters did not. In 2016, Trump fared poorly in the most evangelical areas, with his share of the vote declining as the share of evangelicals grew. That pattern was reversed this year. He won 58 percent of the vote in the most religious counties compared with 54 percent in the least religious.
Cruz was the favorite of voters in the most evangelical areas eight years ago. The northwest quadrant of the state was Cruz’s strongest and Trump’s weakest. This year, Trump won some of his best results there, matching the much less evangelical region in the northeast. Overall, Trump improved by 35 percentage points in the most evangelical counties, one of his biggest gains. For example, in small Hancock County in the northern tier of the state, which has one of the highest share of evangelical voters, Trump got 19 percent of the vote in 2016. He won 65 percent Monday night.
Trump also did well among voters with less education and lower income levels.
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Why did he do better this time among evangelicals? Because he is now a proven commodity. He delivered on Roe v. Wade and the Jerusalem embassy, started building the wall, and tried to end the Johnson Amendment. He promises to deliver again if reelected and many evangelicals believe that he will.
91 felonies later and Trump’s evangelical support is growing. The politics of character is over. Check that–the politics of character ended eight years ago.