Evangelical Biden Voters Straddle Partisan Divides

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Unlike most Americans, they say many of their close friends will vote differently from them in 2020.

In another divisive election year, here’s one demographic that personally feels the strain of the nation’s partisan tensions: white evangelicals who plan to vote for Joe Biden.

The Pew Research Center recently found few Americans, Republicans or Democrats, have many close friends who support a different presidential candidate in the 2020 race. In religious breakouts provided to Christianity Today, evangelical Biden supporters emerged as the exception. Just under half say their close friends disagree with them over the 2020 race.

These longtime Democrats, former Republicans, and previous third-party voters represent an increasingly rare group straddling partisan lines, a position they’re in largely due to their faith.

White evangelicals who back Biden are about twice as likely (46%) as Biden supporters overall (22%) to say that many of their close friends plan to vote for Trump. And they are three times as likely to have close friends who support a different candidate as their fellow white evangelicals who plan to vote for Donald Trump (16%).

“Most of my family, friends from home, and a decent number of friends from college are Trump supporters,” said Clayton Job Myers, who graduated from Oklahoma Baptist University in May. He plans to vote for Biden this year because of his opposition to Trump’s rhetoric and what he sees as religious posturing. “I do my very best not to let that change how I view them and how I treat them.”

As the country becomes more polarized, Americans may be drawn to the idea of friendships that overcome political divides. Many read and shared accounts of the unlikely relationship between Supreme Court justices Antonin Scalia and Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her …

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