A poll by PRRI, published Oct. 19, reveals that 72 percent of white evangelical Protestants now believe that immoral behavior by an elected official doesn’t mean the official is incapable of performing their duties. This is a dramatic increase from the year 2011, when only 30 percent of white evangelical Protestants shared this view.
Non-white evangelical Protestants were not polled by PRRI for this survey. Indeed, throughout the 2016 U.S. presidential election, there has been little differentiation in the media between white evangelicals and evangelicals of color.
In all but one of the groups polled by PRRI for this particular survey — white evangelical Protestants, white mainline Protestants, and Catholics — acceptance for an elected official’s immoral behavior has increased by at least 16 percent. Only among religiously unaffiliated Americans has acceptance declined, from 63 percent to 60 percent.