Derek Beres analyzes white evangelical voters' fondness for Trump. "We often think of morality as rule-based," he writes, but "it seems difficult to explain why evangelical Christians swung their vote toward Donald J. Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election." Obama's 26% and 20% share of evangelical voters dropped to just 16% for Hillary:
Clarion calls for evangelical ballot checkmarks have long been religious: abortion, same-sex marriage, infidelity. Their moral card is pronounced and marketed throughout the campaign. Yet it's incredibly plastic. Every four years their demands shift, which explains how a thrice-married businessman with fidelity problems and previous endorsement of women's rights could command the largest evangelical vote of this century.
In a question tailor-made for Trump's personal issues, the observation that "Asking voters if private immoral acts will affect the ethical responsibilities of elected officials, the group that shifted most was the religious" makes perfect sense:
The biggest shift, however, was found in one specific group: white evangelicals. In 2011, 30 percent of that demographic claimed that a politician acting immorally behind closed doors can still be an upstanding moral leader. In the era of Trump that number has surged to 72 percent.