Trump Approval Poll Shows More Church Equals More MAGA

New polling analysis from the Pew Research Center highlighted President Donald Trump's continued support among Christians, particularly white evangelical Protestants. Polling also found that for certain Christian demographic groups, more frequent church attendance correlated with more support for Trump.

White evangelical Protestants have overwhelmingly supported Trump since his election in 2016, making the religious demographic—more than a quarter of U.S. adults identified as evangelical Christian, and more than three quarters of them were white, a 2014 poll found—a strong core of the president's base.

More than two years into Donald Trump’s presidency, white evangelical Protestants in the United States continue to overwhelmingly support him. Other religious groups, however, are more divided in their views of the president.

— Pew Research Religion (@PewReligion) March 18, 2019

January polling conducted by Pew found that 69 percent of white evangelical Protestants "approve of the way Donald Trump is handling his job as president," down from 78 percent approval in the first months of his administration and the 80 percent of white evangelicals who voted for Trump in 2016.

Trump has less approval from other religious groups, with black Protestants polling at 12 percent approval. Aggregate approval between February 2017 and January 2019 found majority support for Trump among Mormons (52 percent) and lower approval from Jews (24 percent) and Muslims (18 percent) over the same period. The second-lowest approval rating found in the most recent polling, at 20 percent, was the religiously unaffiliated, who identified as "atheist, agnostic or nothing in particular."

White evangelical support for Trump extends to specific policies, such as the nearly three-quarters of white evangelicals who expressed support for "substantially expanding the wall along the U.S. border with Mexico," according to Pew's January poll. In 2018, Vox found that the nomination and confirmation of of Brett Kavanaugh, who opposes abortion rights, to the Supreme Court was a major motivating factor for evangelicals in the lead-up to the 2018 midterm elections, despite the accusations of sexual assault against him.

But one of the most interesting findings teases out varying levels of support within evangelicalism, with more regular churchgoers more likely to approve of Trump than infrequent church attendees. Among white evangelical Protestants, 70 percent of those who attended church once a week or more approved of Trump, while 65 percent of those who attended church less regularly answered approved of Trump. An even wider split was found among white Catholics, from 52 percent approval among weekly churchgoers and 45 percent among those attending less frequently.

White evangelical Christianity also overlaps with other demographics correlated with support for Trump, including low educational attainment—43 percent of evangelical Protestants have a high school education or less—and geography, with half of evangelicals residing in the South.

At the beginning of 2019, Trump's overall approval rating, at 37 percent, was lower than that found among any white Christian evangelical demographic.