Donald Trump demonstrated quite effectively that he can get the religious vote by getting them accept him as one of them and his opponents as someone they would find undesirable. He accomplished this by imitating the way they think and behave. Rudeness played a large part in that. That some of them voted against him demonstrates that not all religious people approved of his behavior, his mistreatment of women, his disrespect of Hillary Clinton, or of his rhetoric. An astute observer of what goes on in our country, who could take note of the fears generated by the decline of religion in our country, he set himself up to take full advantage of that.
It worked. He threatened to separate himself from the Republican Party, and it worked. He blamed everybody but himself for his low standing, and it worked. He proclaimed himself against the evils he saw on the other side, and it worked. He proclaimed his opponents as evil and himself as good, and it worked. He spoke the evangelical language, and it worked. Hillary won big in the popular category, but Trump got the votes that counted.
He began by claiming the system is rigged, and it is. A man who owes no allegiance to anyone, he simply switched tactics and went after the rural vote and catered to their interests. A con man knows who he can con, and Trump is no exception. If the system is rigged against a big city boy, he would become a country bumpkin. And, it worked.
He showed that rudeness can pay off big for someone who knows how to work it. Our political system was set up to keep the heavily populated cities from overwhelming the rural areas at election time. What Trump demonstrated was that he can game that system and still win. This has happened more than once in a row. Perhaps it is time to take note that our rural areas have become quite well populated, and determine whether, in these times, the popular vote may be sufficient to keep the rural areas from overwhelming the cities.