Conservative Christians backed Donald Trump in huge numbers on Tuesday, helping him secure the presidency after months of questions about whether religious voters would turn out for the Republican nominee.
More than 80% of white evangelical and born-again Christians voted for Mr. Trump,according to national exit polling—a larger percentage than backed Mitt Romney, John McCain or George W. Bush, the GOP candidates in the past three elections.
Though evangelicals have voted overwhelmingly for Republicans for decades, Mr. Trump’s nomination sparked an identity crisis among conservative Christians, which some feared might even split up the religious right’s powerful political voting bloc.
Evangelical leaders sparred on television over whether Christians could back the GOP nominee.
Many openly questioned his character, which evangelicals had had long stressed as important for elected officials.
Evangelical women began denouncing him on social media after the Access Hollywood video, which showed Mr. Trump bragging about groping women, was released. (Allegations of sexual assault followed, all of which Mr. Trump denied.)
But ultimately, white religious conservatives showed up for Mr. Trump on Tuesday in force.
Despite misgivings about Mr. Trump’s character, more than 75% of white evangelical women voted for him, according to the exit polls.