LifeWay Poll: More Than Half of Protestant Pastors Plan to Vote for Trump in November


According to a new poll conducted by LifeWay Research, more than half of Protestant pastors in America are planning to vote for President Trump in the 2020 election. Ninety-eight percent of those polled will vote in the presidential election, while 2% will abstain from voting.

Protestant Pastors For Trump

The majority of Protestant pastors in the United States said they were committed to voting for President Trump come November. Fifty-three percent plan on voting for the incumbent president, while 21% said they would cast a vote for Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Meanwhile, 22% of pastors said they were currently undecided and 4% said they were voting for another candidate altogether.

LifeWay Research executive director Scott McConnell isn’t surprised by the results. He said pastors “vote like any other American.”

“The large number of pastors who are still undecided may reflect difficulty in finding a candidate who aligns with their overall beliefs. Also, some pastors are intensely private about their political preferences. [They] may prefer to respond ‘undecided’ than to even confidentially share their voting intentions,” McConnell said.

Over the past four years, the support for President Trump among Protestant pastors has increased since he first ran in 2016. According to a similar survey prior to the 2016 election, 4 in 10 pastors were undecided on who to vote for in mid-September. Approximately 32% of pastors were willing to support Trump four years ago.

“There were a lot of unknowns in 2016, including Trump being an outsider candidate and little sense of how others would respond to supporting his candidacy,” McConnell described. “Pastors know their options for 2020, and a majority are willing to vote for him.”

Issues Pastors Find Important When Voting

The LifeWay Research poll also asked American pastors what characteristics or issues they thought were important when deciding how to vote.

  • 70 percent of pastors said that a candidate’s view on abortion was a key factor.
  • 65 percent believe it’s important for a presidential candidate to protect religious freedom.
  • 62 percent said the candidate’s ability to nominate justices to the Supreme Court was an important issue.
  • 54 percent of pastors said the candidate must improve the economy and protect national security.
  • 53 percent said the candidate’s character is significant.
  • 51 percent believe the next president’s position on immigration and his ability to properly handle racial injustices is tantamount.

The survey of 1,000 Protestant Pastors was conducted from Sept. 2 to Oct. 1, 2020, using both phone interviews and online interviews. The surveys were completed by the senior pastor or sole pastor at the church.