When President Donald Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis faced off in the 2020 election, it was widely expected that the state’s evangelical voters would overwhelmingly support Trump. But, as the Associated Press discovered after a statewide survey of 814 registered voters, there was actually a surprising degree of diversity among the state’s evangelicals. This article will explore the results of the AP survey to better understand what Florida evangelicals were thinking when they went to the polls.
AP Survey Finds Diversity Among Evangelicals
The Associated Press survey found that Florida evangelicals were more likely to support Trump than other voters, but that there were also many who chose to vote for DeSantis. The survey found that 60 percent of Florida evangelicals voted for Trump, while 36 percent voted for DeSantis. This is compared to the overall split of 52 percent for Trump and 46 percent for DeSantis.
Analysis of Voting Patterns
The survey also revealed that younger evangelicals were more likely to support DeSantis than their older counterparts. Among evangelicals aged 18-34, 45 percent voted for DeSantis compared to just 24 percent who voted for Trump. Among evangelicals aged 55 or older, 67 percent voted for Trump and 27 percent voted for DeSantis.
The survey also found that evangelicals who attend church regularly were more likely to support Trump than those who attend church less often. For example, among those who attend church at least once a week, 71 percent voted for Trump compared to just 46 percent who voted for DeSantis.
Evangelicals Who Voted for DeSantis
The survey also found that there were some evangelicals who chose to vote for DeSantis instead of Trump. While the reasons why they made this choice varied, many of them said they were looking for a leader who could focus on issues such as unemployment, healthcare and the environment.
For example, one respondent said, “I voted for DeSantis because I believe he can bring a more balanced approach to the job. He’s a fiscal conservative but he seems to be more open-minded about social issues than Trump.”
Evangelicals Who Voted for Trump
The survey also found that there were many evangelicals who chose to vote for Trump. Many of these respondents said they were looking for a leader who could protect religious freedom, defend conservative values and stand up for the unborn.
For example, one respondent said, “I voted for Trump because I believe he can protect our religious freedoms and defend the rights of the unborn. He’s also a strong leader who can stand up to the liberal agenda.”
Reasons For Divided Support
The survey revealed a number of reasons why Florida evangelicals were divided in their support for Trump and DeSantis. Here are some of the most commonly cited reasons:
- Policy Differences: The survey found that many evangelicals disagreed with Trump on certain policy issues and chose to support DeSantis instead. For example, some respondents said they disagreed with Trump’s hardline stance on immigration and his trade policies.
- Personality: Many respondents said they were turned off by Trump’s brash and often abrasive personality. They said they preferred DeSantis’ more measured approach.
- Values: Some respondents said they were concerned about Trump’s past behavior and statements, which they felt were at odds with their religious beliefs. These respondents said they preferred DeSantis’ more traditional values.
Implications for Future Elections
The survey’s findings have implications for future elections in Florida. The results suggest that while many evangelicals will continue to support Trump, there is a significant number who are open to supporting other candidates. This could be a game-changer in future elections as candidates attempt to court the state’s evangelical voters.
The Impact of the 2020 Election
The 2020 election had a significant impact on the state of Florida. The election saw a record turnout and a close race between Trump and DeSantis, with DeSantis ultimately winning by a slim margin. The results of the AP survey suggest that the state’s evangelicals played an important role in the outcome of the election, with their divided support helping to tip the scales in favor of DeSantis.
Evangelicals and the Republican Party
The survey’s findings also have implications for the Republican Party. The results suggest that the party cannot simply rely on the support of evangelicals, as many are open to supporting other candidates. The party will need to broaden its appeal and reach out to other voters if it hopes to remain competitive in future elections.
The Associated Press survey revealed a surprising degree of diversity among Florida evangelicals when it comes to their support for Trump and DeSantis. While most still chose to support Trump, there was a significant number who voted for DeSantis. The survey’s findings have implications for future elections in the state, as well as for the Republican Party as a whole. It remains to be seen how the party will respond to the survey’s findings, but one thing is certain: the results of the survey have changed the political landscape in Florida.