A new survey by the Public Religion Research Institute reveals deep divides over support for political candidates accused of sexual harassment. The most striking divide may be among major Christian groups.
The survey asked respondents about the likelihood of them voting for someone accused of sexual harassment by multiple people. PRRI provided Sojourners with a breakdown of responses to this question by religious affiliation.
White Christians, in all major groups, are significantly more likely to still consider voting for a candidate with sexual harassment accusations than other Christians of color.
Beyond internal religious divides, the survey also revealed a deep partisan divide. An overwhelming majority of Democrats — 81 percent — say they would definitely not vote for someone accused of sexual harassment by multiple people, while only 34 percent of Republicans say this fact would preclude their support.
The survey was conducted between Aug. 22, 2018 and Sept. 2, 2018, well before many of the accusations of sexual harassment against Brett Kavanagh came to public light.
“There isn't a big indication that these opinions have shifted,” Rob Griffin, Associate Director of Research at PRRI, told Sojourners. “What we tend to see around these [accusations of sexual harassment] is that a lot of these attitudes are already baked into partisanship and that's there's a relative amount of stability in these opinions.”
There were some differences in the responses according to gender. While 61 percent of Republican men say they would still consider voting for a candidate accused of sexual harassment by multiple people, 48 percent of Republican women reported that they would support such a candidate. The views of Democratic women and men were more aligned, with 84 percent of women and 76 percent of men reporting that they would not vote for a candidate with multiple sexual harassment accusations.
The PRRI survey also addressed attitudes on other topics such as overturning Roe v. Wade and the likelihood of voting during midterms. Among its findings, white evangelical Protestants are increasingly exceptional among all religious groups in the United States.
According to the survey, white evangelical Protestants are the only major religious group with a majority that: believe Roe v. Wade was decided incorrectly (56 percent); and view Trump favorably (72 percent).
Read the results of the survey here .