Guess why Donald Trump did not lose by a landslide in the U.S. presidential election? Conservative Christians voted for him in big numbers.
That is hardly surprising news, but their huge turnout for him as shown by a recent survey helps explain
"Christians who are active both spiritually and politically—not turned out and voted for him in overwhelming numbers," said Dr. George Barna, Director of Research, Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University.
Their perception of the election process and allegations of voting fraud has led a large majority of them (79 percent) to believe that there have been "numerous instances of abuse" in the election, with a mere 1 percent believing that the voting process was legally carried out and the votes were accurately counted.
"Nobody is going to confuse Donald Trump with Jesus Christ, but SAGE Cons believe that the Trump portfolio of policy positions much better reflects the biblical worldview that SAGE Cons seek to implement in all walks of life than do those of Mr. Biden," Barna said referring to the victor Joe Biden.
As of Dec. 3, Biden had garnered 80,992,666 of the overall votes or 51.3 percent, while Trump won 74,107,444 votes or 46.9 percent, according to The New York Times.
The survey conducted the week after the election by the Cultural Research Center at Arizona Christian University discovered that among SAGE Cons -- an acronym for Spiritually Active Governance Engaged Conservative Christians—99 percent turned out to vote.
That nearly universal turnout level dwarfed the estimated national turnout level of 66%, which itself was above-average.
But just as remarkable as their turnout was the solidarity of the segment's vote: 97% of SAGE Cons cast their ballot for Trump.
To place that unity in context, the national exit polls show the highest levels of solidarity among other population segments to include Democrats (94 percent voted for Biden), Republicans (94 percent voted for Trump), black women (90 percent for Biden), liberals (89 percent for Biden), blacks (87 percent for Biden), and conservatives (85 percent for Trump).
However, none of those segments had a turnout level approaching that of SAGE Cons.
"SAGE Cons represent 9 percent of the adult population but their extreme level of turnout enabled them to constitute slightly more than 14 percent of the voting population," said Barna.
"In raw numbers, there were approximately 23 million SAGE Con votes cast. With 97 percent of those going to Donald Trump, the SAGE Con bloc provided the president with a net margin of more than 21 million votes."
Barna said that SAGE Cons' political choices are driven by "their biblical perspectives and personal commitment to Jesus Christ."
He said they, "have been a target of criticism during the past four years. Critics argue that President Trump lacks the moral character that a public official or candidate should possess in order to receive the support of Christians."
Barna said that the survey revealed that SAGE Cons "were not, as some have said, voting for a Pastor-in-Chief but were instead responding to his track record in office."
Previous surveys during the election cycle had found that SAGE Cons were displeased with the content of some of his social media messages and his name-calling of political opponents.
Yet the current CRC research noted that Trump's performance on a range of issues reflected the political preferences of SAGE Cons.