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A recent survey by the polling group Morning Consult aimed to find whose political endorsements would be most and least helpful. You won’t be surprised to learn that an endorsement from Barack Obama would make Democrats more likely to support a particular candidate while a vote of confidence from the Republican Party itself would sway the most Republicans.

But as you go down the list specifically for evangelicals, as Christianity Today did, you find some strange results.

According to Morning Consult, endorsements by prominent religious leaders hold more clout with self-identified US evangelicals than those by other celebrities, but still aren’t as impactful as endorsements by other politicians themselves.

Random thoughts:

  • I know he’s president, but it’s bizarre that evangelicals would be swayed more by Donald Trump than Mike Pence, who’s one of their own and has never wavered on the “culture war” issues. It confirms what their critics have been saying for a while now: Evangelicals care less about their religious “values” and far more about party politics.
  • Where do you think Rev. Billy Graham would have ended up on this list? He didn’t play politics like his contemporaries, but I doubt Mr. Evangelical himself would’ve topped the list.
  • When it comes to actual religious figures, only Joel Osteen and Jerry Falwell, Jr. make the list. That’s a strange pairing considering Osteen has no public political views — or opinions on anything, really — while Falwell is about as conservative as you can get.
  • The Obamas make the list of trusted endorsers… which may seem weird until you realize Morning Consult didn’t separate white evangelicals from evangelicals of color. More evangelicals, however, say an endorsement from the Obamas would push them in the other direction.

In case you’re wondering, for atheists, agnostics, and other “Nones,” Barack Obama (56%) and Michelle Obama (54%) top the list of trusted endorsers. Bernie Sanders comes in a distant third at 41%.

Whose endorsements would have non-religious voters running the other way? Trump (58%), the Republican Party (49%), and Mike Pence (48%).

(via Libby Anne)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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