Midterm Elections: White Evangelicals Boost Republicans, Who Gain in Senate, but Lose House

U.S. voters in the 2018 midterm elections on November 6, 2018.
U.S. voters in the 2018 midterm elections on November 6, 2018. | (Screenshot: YouTube/Global News)

Evangelical voters backed Republican candidates for Congress, according to exit polls in the 2018 midterm elections, as the Republicans expanded their majority in the Senate, but lost the House of Representatives.

Both House and Senate seats were still being declared early Wednesday morning, following the nationwide vote on Tuesday, but Democrats had already secured 222 House seats to 199 for Republicans, guaranteeing control of the lower chamber for the first time in eight years.

The CNN count added that Republicans gained seats in the Senate, however, and secured a majority of 51 to the Democrats' 45, with projections that the GOP will even strengthen its hold over the upper chamber.

An ABC News exit poll found that white evangelical Christians are voting 75-25 in the House vote in favor of Republicans, or near their typical level. In total, evangelicals made up 27 percent of the voters, according to preliminarily projections. 

An NBC News exit poll added that a majority of white evangelical women have also stood behind Trump and the Republicans, though in lower numbers than white evangelical men. As many as 57 percent of white evangelical women said that they strongly approve of Trump, with another 17 percent somewhat approving. Only 20 percent said, on the other hand, that they strongly disapprove of the president, with another 6 percent somewhat disapproving.

In some states, evangelicals doubled-down on their support for GOP candidates. In the Missoury Senate, Republican Josh Hawley defeated incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill. The latter won as much as 35 percent of white evangelical Christian support in 2012, but that number was back down to 27 percent on Tuesday.

In one of the most-watched Senate challenges, rising Democratic star Beto O'Rourke narrowly lost against Republican Ted Cruz in Texas.

In the gubernatorial races, Democrat Andrew Gillum lost in Florida to Republican Ron DeSantis. In Georgia, Democrat Stacey Abrams lost with 48.6 percent of the vote but has not yet conceded to Republican Brian Kemp.

U. S. President Donald Trump apparently called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. on Tuesday night to congratulate her party on winning back the House. On Twitter, he struck a victorious tone over the good performance of the Republicans in the Senate.

"Tremendous success tonight. Thank you to all," the president wrote

He then quoted author Ben Stein of The Capitalist Code, where the latter said: "There's only been five times in the last 105 years that an incumbent President has won seats in the Senate in the off year election. Mr. Trump has magic about him. This guy has magic coming out of his ears. He is an astonishing vote getter & campaigner."

The quote continued: "The Republicans are unbelievably lucky to have him and I'm just awed at how well they've done. It's all the Trump magic — Trump is the magic man. Incredible, he's got the entire media against him, attacking him every day, and he pulls out these enormous wins."

Elsewhere, a record number of women were elected to the House. CNN projected that 96 women in total would hold House seats when all the results come in, beating out the previous record of 85. Seventy-six of those are from the Democratic party, and 11 from the Republicans, the numbers showed.

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

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