Trumpism, defined

Written by Peter Smith on .


What factors were common among voters for President Donald Trump in 2016?

A combination of being white; believing in Christian nationalism, traditional gender roles and an authoritative God; and opposing Muslims, feminism, gays, globalism and a separation of church and state.

You might have already picked that up from coverage of President Trump's campaign rallies and the statements of his supporters.

But now a group of Baylor University researchers are confirming that with numbers. They presented findings form what's called the fifth wave of the Baylor Religion Survey, done in coordination with pollsters of the Gallup Organization.

Given that President Trump is no Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee -- that is, Trump is a twice-divorced serial husband known for boasting of sexual predation, and not someone who majored on the Christian themes -- "it was unexpected that the religion variables would be so powerful," said lead researcher Paul Roese.

But evangelical whites overwhelmingly supported him, and they certainly shared much of what Trump was against.

And even though Trump himself didn't champion the notion of a Christian American regularly, his calls for making America great again created a broad canvass that enabled those who had a religious vision of the country to project their own portrait of the country.

"This idea that the origins of the nation were Christian. it's nativist in that way," Roese said. "it has this overarching idea that if you're not a Christian then you're not truly an American."

A majority of Trump voters, according to Baylor:

  • say they are "very religious."
  • belong to white evangelical Protestant churches
  • believe America is a "Christian nation."
  • believe in an authoritative, active God more so than a benevolent or distant God
  • perceive Muslims to be a threat to the United States
  • oppose LGBT rights such as gay marriage
  • support traditional gender roles such as that men make better political leaders and earners and that women should be primary care givers for children.

The researchers released their findings last week at the annual conference of the Religion News Association in Nashville.


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