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Religious Tolerance logo

Politics in the U.S.

The U.S. 2016 election.
Polls. Last-minute events and
predictions before the vote:

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Part 4 of fifteen parts

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This topic is continued here from the previous essay

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poll symbol2016-OCT: Public opinion polls:

David Gibson of the Religious News Service wrote that before Trump's 2005 tape on sexually attacking women was released, polls showed that Trump had less than 70% support from evangelical Christian voters. In comparison, in previous presidential elections, the Republican candidate was supported by almost 80% of evangelicals. 1

Fox News polls show that, if one ignores minority candidates, Hillary Clinton had a four percentage point lead over Donald Trump in a poll conducted from OCT-03 to 06. Results were 48% for Clinton and 44% for Trump. However, the result of a poll conducted from OCT-10 to 12, her lead had increased to eight percentage points: 49% to 41%.

Comparing the two polls, Trump's largest declines in support were:

"...   among women ages 45 and over (down 12 [percentage] points), voters ages 65+ (down 11), suburban women (down 10), white women with a college degree (down 7), GOP women (down 6), and white college graduates (down 6)." 2

The OCT-10 to 12 poll found that:

  • 64 percent believe Clinton has the right temperament to serve effectively and 68 percent say she’s qualified to be president.

  • 63 percent think Trump lacks the temperament and 56 percent say he isn’t qualified. 2

The result's margin of error is ±3 percentage points. 

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2016-NOV-07: Eve of election day: Rev. Franklin Graham suggests voting for Trump. Candidates project different messages:

On NOV-07, which happened to be the 98th birthday of his father, Rev. Billy Graham, Rev. Franklin Graham finally gave an strong boost to the Republican Party's candidate, Donald Trump. He said:

"You may have to hold your nose and vote... I have people that say, 'Well I don't like Donald Trump, I don't like what he says.' Well I don't like what he said either, I promise I don't like it. But those are things that he said 11 years ago, not something that he said today. I think Donald Trump has changed. I think God is working on his heart and in his life. But people have to make up their own mind."

Graham's opinion may be based on a common belief among evangelical Christians that people who trust Jesus as Lord and Savior are immediately saved, and are guaranteed admission to Heaven after death -- no matter what evil deeds were committed throughout their life. Trump has said that he was saved recently. Many conservative Christians feel that he automatically became a "new creature in Christ" at that time, and that this profoundly affects his behavior.

However, other leading evangelicals expressed opposite views on their Twitter accounts:

  • Russell Moore posted a tweet: "Evangelical Women Leaders Disgusted by Their Male Counterparts Defending Trump After Sexual Assault Remarks."

  • Jim Wallis tweeted: "A vote for Donald Trump is a vote for racial bigotry, for disrespect & mistreatment of women, and for xenophobia. It all comes down to that."

  • Beth Moore tweeted: "I'm one among many women sexually abused, misused, stared down, heckled, talked naughty to. Like we liked it. We didn't. We're tired of it." 3

Daniel Dale is the Washington Bureau Chief for the Toronto Star, a large Canadian newspapers. He wrote:

"Clinton appealed to voters' better angels." She said:

'We don't have to accept a dark and divisive vision for America. ... Tomorrow you can vote for a hopeful, inclusive, big-hearted America. Our core values are being tested in this election'."

"Trump appealed to voters' anger." He said:

'You have one magnificent chance to change a corrupt system and to deliver justice for every forgotten man, woman, and child in this nation'."

"Clinton said America needs 'more love and kindness.' Trump said America needs to eradicate its 'rigged system'." 4

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2016-NOV-08: Election Day: Some Christian churches in the U.S. celebrated communion:

Prior to the last presidential election of 2012-NOV, more than 900 churches of various denominations had registered that they were performing communion services on election day. Only 300 churches registered before the 2016-NOV election. They included Mennonite, Anabaptist, Methodist, Episcopal and Disciples of Christ congregations. The decrease in registration might be because of the higher than normal emotional conflicts during the lead up to the 2016 elections. It could also be because congregations have adopted the observation without registering their intent with the coordinating group.

Jason Boone, a Mennonite, is heading the 2016 effort. He said:

It's one individual, one vote. We go into the booth alone and we have all this power. Then you go to Communion or you're with the body (of believers). And you say, 'You know what? My power is going to be in serving all of these people'.''

On their Facebook page, the group sponsoring the event said:

"After we've made our different choices in the voting booth, let's make the same choice together. Let's meet at the same table to break bread and pass the cup. ... Election Day Communion is a chance to remind ourselves that our allegiance to Christ is higher than allegiance to any party or political campaign. That the power to truly change the world is found not in politics or presidents or protests, but in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus." 5

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2016-NOV-08: Election Day arrives: Reuters/Ipsos poll results announced: Hillary Clinton's chance of becoming President has was estimated to be 90%!

The States of the Nation project, a joint effort of Reuters and Ipsos, predicted that the odds for each candidate winning are essentially unchanged from the previous week. They predicted that, among voters:

  • 45% of voters would favor Clinton.
  • 42% would favor Trump.
  • 13% would vote for a minority party candidate.

They concluded:

  • Clinton will obtain Electoral College 303 votes.
  • Trump will obtain 235 votes.

270 votes are needed to become President.

Maurice Tamman, writing for Reuters, said:

"Trump's chances rest with his performance in Florida, Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio, which were too close to call on Sunday [NOV-06], when polling ended, and Pennsylvania, where Clinton enjoyed a slim lead of three percentage points. For Trump to win, he will have to take most of those states.

Any combination of two losses in the three states of Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania would almost assuredly result in a Clinton victory. At the same time, Trump must hold onto the traditionally Republican state of Arizona, where the race has drawn close, and hope that independent candidate Evan McMullin does not claim another Republican bastion, Utah.

To win, Trump needs higher turnout among Republican white voters than that which materialized in 2012, a drop-off in ballots by African-American voters and a smaller-than-predicted increase in Hispanic voters, the project showed." 6

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This topic continues in the next essay.

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. David Gibson, "Will Trump tape be tipping point with conservative Christians?" The Baptist Standard, 2016-OCT-11, at:
  2. Dana Blanton, "Fox News Poll: Clinton leads Trump by 7 points, " Fox News, 2016-OCT-14, at:
  3. Andy Walton, "Franklin Graham Claims There's An Obvious Way For Christians To Vote," Christianity Today, 2016-NOV-08, at:
  4. Daniel Dale, "A referendum on the soul of a divided nation," Toronto Star, 2016-NOV-08, at:
  5. Harry Farley, " 'A Higher Allegiance': Thousands Of American Christians To Celebrate Post-Election Communion," Christianity Today, 2016-NOV-07, at:
  6. Maurice Tamman, "Clinton has 90 percent chance of winning: Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation," Reuters, 2016-NOV-08, at:

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How you may have arrived here:

Home > Religiously-motivated conflicts > Specific religious conflict event > 2016 U.S. election

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Copyright © 2016 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Original posting: 2016-NOV-11
Latest update : 2016-NOV-13
Author: B.A. Robinson

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