The problem is not religion. Yes, there are some religion people who hate science, but they are on the fringe. There are some fundamentalist Christians who are very anti-evolution, but they do not reject science. I have a friend who works as a chemical engineer and he rejects evolution, but he certainly doesn't disbelieve the general principles of chemistry. In fact, his company is desperate to keep him that they basically let him take however much vacation he wants every year just to keep him happy and his company is one of the largest in its industry. Arguments against evolution denying are a whole other subject and not really the issue here.
There is a saying that "all politics in local" and in America that's really true. For my whole life Congress has had members, usually in the House of Representatives which is voted on in a district level in the individual states, who are just wildly out of step with the rest of the country. People who hold crazy beliefs sometimes get elected because they just happen to live in a part of the country that accepts those beliefs. Sometimes people get elected simply because of party affiliation. It may be that they are a stupid and horrible candidate, but at least they aren't a member of the other political party. I'd guess that maybe 70-80% of voters vote simply on party affiliation and for no other reason. Climate change denial plays big in the Republican Party right now as does religious belief, but the two things are not sets with 100% the same members in each. For example, Newt Gingrich is religious and has bona fide conservative credentials yet he certainly believes in climate change. Various members of Congress, particularly in the House, are just huge embarrassments but they keep going back because very few voters will ever consider voting for a member of what they consider to be "the other party", so if an idiot wins the nomination of his/her party in the primary, the regular election victory is almost assured. For most of my life I have lived in wildly uncompetitive districts for both parties where the winner of the primary never had to worry about his/her general election opponent because the voters would simply never vote in large numbers for the "other party" candidate.