White evangelicals ended up being a crucial voting block that helped put Donald Trump over the top Tuesday. This group makes up a whopping 26 percent of the overall electorate and one-third of the Republican Party. They came out in favor of the billionaire businessman in droves. Exit polls report 81 percent of evangelicals broke for Trump, compared to just 16 percent for Hillary Clinton.
This unprecedented show of unity surpasses even 2004, when 76 percent voted for George W. Bush, compared to 21 percent who voted for John Kerry.
Despite the fact that evangelicals bristled at the revelations of Trump's unfavorable dealings with women, many leaders even speaking out against Trump's brash rhetoric, in the end it was Trump's position on issues that motivated evangelicals to favor him over Clinton.
CBN News Chief Political Correspondent David Brody explained the evangelical vote to Pat Robertson on Wednesday's The 700 Club.
"Look, let me give the bottom line to everybody out there," he said, "Four million more evangelicals showing up at the polls this time around for Donald Trump compared to Mitt Romney in 2012. That sums it all up."
Brody said while evangelicals helped Trump nationwide, their votes were particularly crucial in the all-important battleground states of Florida and North Carolina.
"Remember we hear that Trump won 81 percent of evangelicals. But if you dig deeper in Florida, a state he had to have, he was at 85 percent among evangelical voters, and in North Carolina, he was at 82 percent," Brody pointed out, "If he doesn't win Florida and North Carolina it's game, set, match, it's done. Evangelicals came through for him big time in those two states."
Although Trump is on his third marriage and has heavy connections with the casino industry, as opposed to Clinton, who attends church regularly and even taught Sunday school, it was their starkly contrasting positions on social issues that separated the two candidates in the minds of evangelicals.
According to The Washington Post, "Clinton has symbolized much of what evangelicals have tended to oppose, including abortion rights advocacy and feminism. As first lady, she is tied to conservative Christian loss of culture war battles during Bill Clinton's presidency."
The former president's spiritual adviser, Tony Campolo, told Christian Today, that despite the strength of evangelicals in this election, their power might be dwindling.
"The triumph of Donald Trump may signal 'the last hurrah' of white male evangelicals in America, or it may mean that their influence is once again on the rise. We will have to wait and see," adding, "But there is no question that his victory was largely due to their support."
In addition to evangelicals, the Faith and Freedom Coalition announced in a press release that Catholics came out for Trump.
"Faithful, pro-life Roman Catholics voters contributed mightily to the faith vote," the statement read, "White Catholics, one out of every six voters, voted 54 percent for Trump and 36 percent for Clinton, swinging Rust Belt states like Ohio, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin to the GOP column."