Will the evangelical Right still support Trump when Roe v Wade is overturned?

American evangelicalism has started to change, and is a lot different than how it was in the early 1980s. The pro-life movement did a good job of wedding about 80% of evangelicals to the GOP, but it is no longer probably the biggest factor keeping them loyal to Republicans. The 20% of evangelicals that typically don’t vote Republican are mostly black evangelicals, it is fairly rare for a white evangelical to vote Democrat; 2020 exits show about 27% of white Protestants voted for Biden, but don’t break it down as specific as evangelical or not by race, they do break it down by evangelical or not, and around 76% of evangelicals supported Trump. Essentially you can assume most white evangelicals voted for Trump.

There has been a decline in white evangelicalism, from around 23% of the population in 2006 to around 14% in 2020–and most of those people have not left religion. PRRI suggests that at least a decent chunk moved into mainline Protestantism. Various articles who have looked into it have found a somewhat strong trend of younger white evangelicals choosing to drop the label “evangelical”, somewhat specifically because they just were put off by how so many evangelical churches were essentially transforming Sunday into Republican political rallies. Now, for Democrats all of these people didn’t just switch to team blue, many and probably most of these religious whites are still going to vote for Republicans, but they just don’t want to attend worship services at the religious equivalent of a Trump rally. Those voters are probably more persuadable to Democratic ideas than the cultists they left behind, though.

The flipside of course is evangelicals who just aren’t “feeling” the “let’s become an appendage of the Trump Organization with a bit of the Klan thrown in” dropping the “evangelical” descriptor and migrating to Lutheran, United Methodist, American Baptist etc churches means the ones left behind are basically becoming entrenched and hyper-committed Christian nationalists.

Yes, abortion as single-issue motivator did a lot to entrench and mainstream what we now call RW Evangelical as a political power.

One thing we must not forget though is that right-wing evangelicalism existed well before that. Across the whole USA many historic protestant denominations had themselves a history of being split since before the Civil War and then afterwards, on the issue of slavery before, and segregation after. Meanwhile, you also had the hardcore Fundamentalists around, but in the old days they tended to be not interested in “worldly politics”. And many Evangelicals were willing to go along with some progressive economic policies if it benefitted their communities.

But then came the 60s cultural upheaval and Roe, that provided an exquisite opportunity for the hard-right leadership – as Lee Atwater famously said, by then you could no longer use fear of the N****rs as your banner… but lookee here, these same liberals that are forcing us to integrate schools, letting the wrong people vote, keeping us from saying the Lord’s Prayer in public schools… are now saying that being sexually immoral is OK!!! That your daughter can go have sex without your approval and without consequences! That your son can get it on with another boy! That was the hook and the tipping point. Heck, on this now they could even call a truce on despising Catholics! (OK, except Jack Chick. Jack sure stood his ground on that.) Notice the big Religious Right group that came out of the 70s was called, what? The Moral Majority. And they were not referring to ethical behavior. But “by their fruits ye shall know them”, it was obvious that this was but a way to say to chain together that if you wanted to protect “Family Values”… you had to be with the RW “conservatives” and go all in on everything else the RW was for, or else communists would take over and raise your taxes to transgender your son, or something like that.