Catholics and Evangelicals: Does Donald Trump Mean the End of the Religious Right?
The conservative Catholic–evangelical alliance is the topic of Neil J. Young’s chapter. Donald J. Trump surprised many observers not only by heavily winning the evangelical vote but by taking a majority (52%) of the Catholic vote. As Young points out, in 2016, many observers took the Republican presidential nominee’s bellicose rhetoric and reports of his unsavory personal conduct as evidence that he would lose some substantial evangelical and especially Catholic support in the election. Reports of the eventual political demise of the Religious Right—many of which came to the fore in 2016—have missed its endurance as a grassroots movement or theological development and not merely as an ordinary interest group. Nonetheless, the Religious Right is a potentially fragile alliance of mostly evangelicals, Catholics, and some Mormons and in 2016, a combination of potent social issues and a Supreme Court vacancy powered the alliance to support an admittedly flawed GOP nominee as a necessary compromise.