Just a few weeks ago, news outlets reported that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was confidently working to expand its electoral margin of victory and aid down-ballot races. Even in the final days of the campaign, expectations were high for a Democrat White House and likely a narrow Democrat majority in the Senate. However, American voters had a different idea.
Donald J. Trump will be the 45th President of the United States of America. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, the 2009 recipient of NRB's Faith & Freedom Award, is Vice President-elect. Moreover, both the House and the Senate remain firmly in Republican hands.
In a statement Wednesday morning congratulating and anticipating working with the coming Trump Administration, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of National Religious Broadcasters, said, “NRB commends voters for repudiating the demands of the radical Left.” He added, “Americans still value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is now time to unite in common cause to advance these basic principles, principles that bond citizens across political and demographic lines.”
Not only were the Trump and Republican congressional campaigns victorious in several traditional battleground states like Ohio and Florida, but they offset losses in states like Virginia, Nevada, and Colorado by toppling the “Blue Wall” with victories in states including Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, which had not voted Republican for the White House since the 1980s.
Notably, exit polls showed 52 percent of the electorate identifying as Protestant, among whom 58 percent voted for Trump. The commonly polled category of “white evangelical” came in at 26 percent of the electorate, and in that group 81 percent reported voting for Trump. Also significant, among those respondents reporting at least weekly religious service attendance (33 percent of the total electorate), 56 percent voted Republican in the White House race. Of those who said they never attend religious services (22 percent of the total), 62 percent voted for Secretary Clinton.
Johnson noted that evangelical leaders had been divided before Election Day, but he said, “Now it's time for evangelical leaders to come together. Evangelicals face growing challenges to religious liberty, free speech, the sanctity of human life, and other fundamental liberties for which we must stand united in the public square.”
Next week Members of Congress return to sort through the ramifications of this election, work on finishing 2016 business, and choose chamber leaders for next year. Inauguration Day is Friday, January 20, 2017.
By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations
Published: November 11, 2016