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Don’t expect younger evangelicals to be as dedicated to the Republican party as their parents were.
According to a new study by Neighborly Faith, evangelicals between the ages of 18-35 have shifted left politically from what their parents were.
Co-director of Neighborly Faith Kevin Singer, a self-described student movement aimed at bringing Christians and youth of other religions together, told Newsweek he believes this had a significant impact on the recent midterm elections.
“Young evangelicals were almost certainly a contributor to the so-called ‘red wave’ becoming more like a ripple,” Singer said. “Though they have more conservative political leanings than their peers, they are also more progressive than older evangelical voting blocs that Republican candidates have come to rely on.”
This trend has only increased in recent days, as previous supporters of the former president laid the blame on what many viewed as an underwhelming midterm election for Republican squarely on his shoulders.
Once a Trump ally, Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks issued scathing remarks against the former president:
“Donald Trump has proven himself to be dishonest, disloyal, incompetent, crude and a lot of other things that alienate so many independents and Republicans. Even a candidate who campaigns from his basement can beat him.”
While Donald Trump still enjoys support from a strong base of supporters, the outlying groups appear to be drifting away from his camp. And if Republicans were to lose a significant portion of the evangelical vote in years to come, it would spell doom for their future election hopes.
With a larger group of evangelical youth supporting political figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Senator Bernie Sanders (8% and 15% respectively) than their parental generation, a cultural shift away from the conservative households they were raised in appears to be in full swing.
“Donald Trump cannot count on this group,” said Singer. “Generally, their attitudes are favorable toward him and, strangely, the amount of trust among young evangelicals who are female, non-straight and minorities have an even greater amount of trust for Trump, but we see similarly positive marks for Biden.”
The younger evangelical generation still views conservative figures like Candace Owens and Tucker Carlson as more trustworthy than their liberal counterparts like Rachel Maddow and Jimmy Kimmel. Yet these are not the ones they look to for deciding factors on issues. They instead are more likely to turn toward the religious figures in their lives before making a final decision on important life issues.
Despite the GOP still being the party a majority of young evangelicals associate with, Singer believes his polling numbers show a growing trend of young evangelicals who have more progressive social views.
“The data is close enough. Young evangelicals are a lot less beholden to one institution over the other,” said Singer. “When it comes to climate change, economic equality and other causes, they are trending progressive, just as their peers are.”
“They are teetering,” he concluded, “and if this lasts, it could result in evangelicals no longer being a reliable voting bloc for Republicans and change many future election outcomes.”
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James Lasher is Staff Writer for Charisma Media.
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