Are you going to vote for Trump

Experts had predicted: Even minimal shifts could decide the choice. Votes are still being counted in several states. In the rust belt, white Catholics could have helped Joe Biden.

Ryan Burge is absolutely certain: Catholics prevented Donald Trump's second term in office. "Religion has played a major role," explained the political scientist at Eastern Illinois University to the online portal "Crux" - "especially among white Catholics".

As the center of the electoral shift, the expert on the interactions between religion and politics makes up the rust belt of the USA: half a dozen traditional industrial countries between the Great Lakes and the Apalachians. Here, white Catholic workers make up a large group of voters. The "rust belt Catholics" helped Trump to his surprising election victory in 2016.

Trump was apparently only able to mobilize conservatives

This time around, Trump seems to lose as narrowly as he won four years ago in three of those states - Wisconsin (25 percent Catholics), Michigan (18 percent) and Pennsylvania (24 percent). And there is some evidence that parts of the Catholic population have turned their backs on Trump. The president had campaigned aggressively for Catholic votes - and was only able to mobilize the conservatives.

The reversal of the Michigan and Wisconsin results this time around could be related to shifts in Catholic voters. A similar trend is emerging in Pennsylvania.

Fewer Catholic voters for Trump

Political scientist Burge suspects that Trump has lost between six and eight percent among white Catholics. The same group of voters helped Trump in the rust belt back then to 59 percent of the vote - and outclassed Hillary Clinton, who was miles behind with 23 points.

Catholics also play a role in Arizona in the southwest. Almost a third of the population there belongs to the Catholic Church. In 2016, Trump prevailed there - and according to the count is currently just behind Biden. Of the 6.3 million inhabitants, around 30 percent are from Latin America "Hispanics" - who are predominantly Catholic.

Close result

Burge's estimates are based on samples from nationwide post-election surveys that include larger population groups. You see Biden ahead of Trump at 52 to 48 percent - a close result, but a smooth reversal of the 2016 result.

To what extent Catholic voters have reoriented, however, cannot yet be precisely stated in the overall picture. The post-election surveys are extremely different.

Catholics and evangelicals are more likely to vote for Trump

The Washington Post sees Trump as the winner of the Catholic voters with 51 to 47 percent - which is far from the result of the "New York Times", which sees the president with 62 to 37 percent Catholics ahead of Biden. The difference at ABC is even greater: the TV station has two thirds of Catholic votes for Trump and only one third for the Catholic Biden. Of course, there is some evidence that the Catholics, as in the past, voted for the eventual winner.

For the evangelicals, Trump's loyal followers, more plausible information already seems to be available. According to various estimates, the President received from them 76 to 78 percent of the vote. This could also be a postponement with consequences: After the 81 percent of 2016, evangelicals and Catholics could have cost Trump the majorities in the rust belt.

"Sound of victory"

In the face of the close race in Pennsylvania, the president's spiritual advisor, Paula White, conjures up Trump's victory like a mantra. In a sermon that has already been clicked a million times, the preacher of the "Prosperity Gospel" pleads again and again and seemingly ecstatically: "I hear the sound of victory!"

And White already knows more than any of us: "The Lord says it is done."