WISCONSIN — A new survey of evangelical and Catholic voters in key five battleground states – including Wisconsin – shows President Trump’s perceived lack of kindness is driving faith voters away in large enough numbers to potentially affect the outcome of the election. These results come as progressive evangelical group Vote Common Good plans to host a weekend of rallies in Wisconsin that will feature Representative Gwen Moore (D-WI) and Wisconsin Congressional Candidate Amanda Stuck.
The Presidential Candidate Vice and Virtue Poll surveyed 1,430 registered voters in Wisconsin, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania and found an 11-point swing among evangelical and Catholic voters toward the Democratic candidate, Vice President Biden and away from the Republican, President Trump as compared to 2016. In Wisconsin, the survey found a 17-point swing from Trump to Biden among Catholic voters.
The poll, the largest survey of swing state faith voters in the 2020 cycle, was designed by behavioral scientists at the University of Southern California, the University of Maryland College Park, the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill and Duke University and commissioned by Vote Common Good. It not only reveals declining support for President Trump among Catholics and evangelicals, but shines light on the reasons these faith voters are moving away from him.
“Trump’s lack of kindness will likely cost him the election,” said Vote Common Good Executive Director Pastor Doug Pagitt. “Four years ago, many religious voters decided to look the other way and give Trump a chance, but after witnessing his cruelty and corruption, some of them are searching for an off-ramp.”
The survey asked respondents about how they evaluated Trump and Biden against seven biblical virtues and seven sins. The results indicate that the perception that Trump lacks “kindness” is the strongest driver of defections from Trump in 2020. Furthermore, disaffected Trump voters may generally be willing to forgive the president’s perceived sins, but not his perceived lack of basic kindness. This pattern was consistent across both Catholics and Evangelicals, as well as across males and females. It was also present for younger and older respondents alike, but especially strong among older respondents, who are especially likely to defect from Trump because of a perceived lack of Christian virtue.
Vote Common Good’s rallies this weekend aim to inspire voters of faith to make the common good, not political party, the determining factor in casting their 2020 ballots. In addition to Rep. Moore and candidate Stuck, local pastors and musicians will also join the Wisconsin rallies. Social distancing will be observed by all attendees, with masks required – event details below.
Who: Vote Common Good
WI Congressional Candidate Amanda Stuck
When: Saturday, September 12, 2020
3:00 p.m. CT
Where: Voyageur Park
100 William Street
De Pere, WI 54115
Who: Vote Common Good
Representative Gwen Moore
When: Sunday, September 20, 2020
3:00 p.m. CT
Where: Redeemer Lutheran Church
1905 W. Wisconsin Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 5323
VCG recently concluded a nine-day, 115-mile pilgrimage for racial justice from Charlottesville, VA to Washington, D.C., where its members rallied outside the White House at Black Lives Matter Plaza before joining with the Rev. Al Sharpton’s March on Washington. VCG executive director Pastor Doug Pagitt spoke alongside Rev. Sharpton at the Lincoln Memorial.
In early August, VCG launched a new partnership with The Lincoln Project, a group of “never Trump” Republicans that has received national attention for their television and digital ad campaign targeting the president. The two groups plan to hold town halls, share outreach lists and target ads for religious voters in key swing states ahead of the election in November.