Most evangelicals believe Biden's election victory was 'not legitimate'

(Photo: Reuters)

White evangelicals in the US appear to agree with Donald Trump when it comes to Joe Biden's election victory.

Research by the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) asked 2,016 adults across the US whether they believed Biden's victory was "legitimate or not legitimate". 

Nearly two thirds (63%) of white evangelical Protestants answered "not legitimate". This rose to three quarters among white evangelicals who identified as Republican.

After losing to Biden last November, Trump repeatedly claimed that the election was "stolen" and that mass voter fraud had taken place. 

Reuters reports that US courts have now dismissed over 50 lawsuits relating to alleged electoral fraud and irregularities presented by Trump and his allies.

On Monday, the last remaining legal challenges were thrown out by the US Supreme Court. 

According to further AEI polling since the November 3 election, most evangelical Republicans (69%) say the claim that there was widespread fraud is either mostly or completely accurate.  This compares to 40% of Republicans who are not evangelical. 

White evangelical Republicans were also far more likely than their non-evangelical counterparts to believe that a group of unelected government officials in Washington, DC, called 'Deep State,' had worked to undermine the Trump administration (67% vs 52%), and that the anti-fascist group Antifa was mostly to blame for the January 6 violence at the Capitol (60% vs 42%). 

They were also more likely than non-evangelical Republicans to say they trust Trump "a lot" to do what is right for the country (56% vs 25%).

Commenting on the survey results, the AEI said: "One possible explanation for why evangelical Christian Republicans are more likely to embrace conspiracy theories is their affinity to Trump.

"Trump played an active role in promoting misinformation about the existence of fraud in the presidential election, and engaged in conspiratorial thinking himself on numerous occasions."