A majority of the pastors are undecided on their choice of presidential candidate, according to a new survey conducted by LifeWay Research.
About 40 percent of the pastors say they do not know who they want to vote for. Some 32 percent wanted to vote for Donald Trump, and another 19 percent for Hillary Clinton.
Most of the Pentecostals (61 percent), Baptists (46 percent), and Church of Christ ministers (50 percent) favored Trump.
Clinton had more support among the Methodists (44 percent), and Presbyterians (50 percent).
"Donald Trump does better with pastors than Hillary Clinton," said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research. "But both candidates are still less popular than 'Undecided.'"
An absolute majority of the Protestant pastors (84 percent) support voting and say that it is a biblical responsibility to vote. The Protestant pastors included Pentecostals (98 percent), Baptists (95 percent), Presbyterian (81 percent), and Church of Christ members (79 percent).
Most of the pastors voting for Trump said that nomination of Supreme Court judges (36 percent) was their top priority, followed by abortion (17 percent), and personal character (10 percent).
On the other hand, pastors who wanted to vote for Clinton said that her personal character (28 percent) was most important to them. About 7 percent were considering voting for Clinton because of her immigration policies. Less than 1 percent of the pastors said they would vote for Clinton because of her position on abortion.
According to the survey, most of the African-American pastors (37 percent) sided with Clinton, while 35 percent of the White pastors supported Trump.
Only 1 percent of the pastors have endorsed a political candidate from the pulpit of their churches. However, more pastors (22 percent) have endorsed political candidates outside of their church role. Meanwhile, 77 percent did not endorse any candidate, neither inside the church nor outside.
Democratic (78 percent) and Republican leaning pastors (53 percent) favored their party candidates, as expected.
The survey was carried out on 1,000 Protestant senior pastors between August 22 and Septemeber 16.