A recent poll shows that just 20 percent of American evangelicals are "very interested" in the 2016 election. The poll by Christian organization Barna Group comes as presidential candidates gear up for the Wisconsin and New York primaries.
Evangelicals were reportedly the least interested religious group in the election, reports Christian Today. The lack of evangelical interest stands in stark contrast to non-Christians, the group most interested in the 2016 election.
The poll also revealed a significant lack of interest in the election among the American people as a whole, who are generally one of the least engaged voting groups worldwide, reports Charisma News. Thirty one percent of Americans said they are following the 2016 election "very closely."
While evangelicals do not seem to be engaged in the election, they think it is important. The poll indicates that 78 percent of evangelicals think the 2016 election is “extremely important to the future of the United States.”
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In contrast, only 49 percent of non-Christians felt the election was “extremely important.”
Barna Group acknowledged the disparity between evangelicals’ interest in the election and how critical they feel it is.
“They admit this is a highly important election for the fate of the nation. They consistently strive to influence the direction of the nation. ... They are conscious of what is happening but not yet fully focused,” said Barna Group in a statement. “We expect to see their attentiveness climb substantially over the next few months.”
Pollsters say that the source of this disparity in evangelicals’ views of the election may lie in their perception of how “fair and objective” they believe the media is. Voters that view media coverage as biased may be less likely to watch coverage, regardless of how important they view the election to be.
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The Barna poll found that only five percent of evangelicals think the media portray “completely fair and objective coverage of the campaign.”
George Barna, founder of Barna Group, says he is confident that evangelicals will become more interested with time.
“[It’s] certainly surprising to see this segment delay their focus on the race," said Barna. "And that is certainly all we’re talking about at this point: a group that is waiting to see what happens with the nominating process before devoting a greater mind share to election news."