Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade
Faith Matters? How Religion Shaped American Presidential Election 2016
Religion is one of the most important social institutions in the United States of America, and Americans are among the most religious nations in the world. In this paper I explore how religion shaped the American presidential election in 2016. Although the significance of religion in the United States has been acknowledged since the time of Tocqueville, it seems that religion was, once again, overlooked as a factor in pre- and post-elections analyses. The starting point of my paper is the fact that 80% of born again/evangelical Christians say they voted for Donald Trump, while only 16% of them voted for Hillary Clinton. This paper builds on existing empirical data and polls, as well as the analysis of the role and use of religion in the presidential campaign, to show that religion was a important factor in the final results of the election. Besides, in this paper I argue that religion has become an important factor in the United States foreign policy by analyzing the first year of Trump’s presidency.