"Only one out of five evangelicals (20 percent) said they were following news about the campaign very closely," a Barna Group survey found. (Image courtesy of bplanet/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
U.S. evangelicals are minimally engaged in the 2016 presidential campaign, despite significant focus by media outlets on the importance of gaining the evangelical vote.
"Only one out of five evangelicals (20 percent) said they were following news about the campaign very closely," a Barna Group survey found.
This is 11 percentage points lower than the national average and 10 percentage points lower than Barna's other two Christian categories: non-evangelical born again Christians and notional Christians ("people who consider themselves to be Christian but they have not made 'a personal commitment to Jesus Christ that is still important in their life today.'')
Other religious traditions were significantly more engaged than evangelicals, as well. Forty-one percent of non-Christian voters and 36 percent of skeptics said that they were "very closely" engaged with the election.
Reversing a 16-year trend, more Catholics (38 percent) than Protestants (26 percent) were paying very close attention to the election.
"What makes the indifference of evangelicals even more surprising is the fact that they are the religious segment most likely to characterize the outcome of this year's presidential election as 'extremely important to the future of the United States,'" Barna commented.