Evangelicals won the battle, but they’ve lost the war.

Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals voted for Donald Trump yesterday, a strong showing that helped sweep him into office. Via The Washington Post:

This is one of the night’s least surprising results. There has never really been any question that this demographic would support Trump. Polling consistently showed strong white evangelical support for Trump; #NeverTrump voices like the Southern Baptist Convention’s Russell Moore were loud outliers that attracted press attention but did little to dent laity fervor for the candidate.

But this is not an unqualified success for the religious right.

Last month, I argued that Trump’s candidacy would end the religious right as we know it. Last night’s results did not invalidate that argument. The GOP-evangelical alliance is still intact, still potent—for now. There’s trouble ahead: Young people rejected Donald Trump. So did people of color. And the religious right needs both groups if it’s going to survive as a political entity.

Its only hope now is that the Trump presidency proves less catastrophic than predicted. Barring that, it’s sacrificed its moral credibility for a short-term victory.