Donald Trump is Not as Popular with Evangelicals as He Lets On


Donald Trump is proud of how he is doing with Evangelicals, he said the other day, tweeting,

You have to take Trump with a grain of salt of course. He says everybody loves him, including Mexicans, women, Democrats, liberals, you name it. All love Trump. His ego requires this. So how about Evangelicals. For real? The truth is, he is not really doing all that well if you look at the numbers. “Better than expected” is not really saying all that much, and Gallup revealed yesterday that, “The results show that Trump does not, in fact, receive high levels of support from highly religious Republicans. His net favorable rating is 12th in the list of 17 GOP candidates among highly religious Republicans. Ben Carson is the clear leader among the highly religious group.” So what gives? Gallup explains that “assumptions about Trump’s level of support among evangelicals appear to be based on trial heat polls wherein Republicans are forced to choose one and only one candidate for whom they would, in theory, vote.” Gallup, on the other hand, asks people “their views of each candidate individually,” which “provides a more comprehensive view of the candidates.” This more comprehensive view is not terribly favorable to Trump, as you can see: Net-favorable-ratings-Republicans   Sorting out the Religious Right is a confusing process. They claim to represent this monolithic, unshakable morality that they pit against what they call “moral relativism,” but their own views seem terribly relativistic. For example, Fox News contributor and Texas megachurch pastor (and yes, you can rank his titles in that order) Robert Jeffress says Trump is just want Jesus wants for America. Appearing on Hannity Thursday, Jeffress claimed,

JEFFRESS: The fact is, if 2016 were any other year, Trump would be toast with evangelicals right now for some of the things he’s said. And other evangelical candidates would be topping the polls. But I think this year is different, Sean. I think there is a palpable feeling among evangelicals that this country has been in a downward death spiral since the time of Barack Obama and 2016 may be the last time to reverse that trend. And while in a perfect world evangelicals would like a candidate who is a committed Christian and a competent leader, I think if they have to make a choice this time around, they’re going to leave religion out of it and go for the person they think is the competent leader, like Trump. HANNITY: He said his favorite book is the Bible. He said he reads the Bible. He said he is affiliated with a church, he doesn’t go that often to the church. He’s pro-life.On issues that are important to you, he explained how he changed his view on abortion. I assume you take him at his word.

[[AD2]] Jeffress’ response to this was that after Obama, “we no longer require a president to be one of us, we just want one who doesn’t hate us, like Barack Obama does.” Trump was duly grateful, tweeting yesterday,

Even so, Gallup points to its research and says, flat-out, “No sign here of any special appeal on the part of Trump to highly religious Republicans.” And there is evidence of this.

If David Brody says Trump attracts Evangelicals because he doesn’t use them as pawns, the Religious Right’s Martin Bormann, David Lane – the guy who called the United States Constitution “the wrong train” – has thrown his non-inconsiderable weight behind Ted Cruz, who has duly proclaimed jihad against women’s reproductive rights.

It is significant that in the Gallup study, Cruz beats Trump among the highly (45 to 22) and moderate (39 to 36) religious both, and that the only place Trump can touch Cruz is among the not religious (17 to 17). The only candidate more popular with all three groups is Ben Carson.

Jeffress revealed in an op-ed at Fox News on September 8th that the whole unshakable morality thing is a load of bs:

“As Evangelicals see America careening downward toward a devastating crash, they are willing to bifurcate leadership responsibilities for the well-being of our country.”

In other words, there is no expectation that Trump the sinner will “lead our nation in a spiritual revival.” Trump will deal with “practical problems” (it is not explained how the utterly clueless Trump could ever manage this) while Evangelicals look “to the Church to lead our nation to the spiritual renewal that we so desperately need” (no explanation of how this can be accomplished either while they are backing people like the Duggars).

Even Jeffress admits he doesn’t know if Trump’s success, limited as it apparently is, will continue with Evangelicals. It is difficult to imagine truly religious people, as opposed to those who use religion to validate their bigotry, getting behind a foul-mouthed narcissist like Trump.

It is difficult here not to agree with Mother Jones editor David Corn, who tweeted of Rick Perry’s early exit, “Kids, learn the Rick Perry lesson: you only get one chance to make a first impression.”

Trump got his first impression with Evangelicals too, and if he has convinced some, he alienated others with his “little wine and little cracker” and his failure to seek forgiveness.” Many of them are going to remember that, and it remains to be seen how far lip-service to God and an unrelenting commitment to braggadocio can carry him.

18 Replies to “Donald Trump is Not as Popular with Evangelicals as He Lets On”

  1. ummm… doesn’t Mother Jones mind if David Corn works for Salon too? or is it a different David Corn?

  2. “…in a perfect world evangelicals would like a candidate who is a committed Christian and a competent leader, I think if they have to make a choice this time around, they’re going to leave religion out of it…”

    Yeah, so what happened with Romney? He was Christian-Mormon, plus, a wealthy therefore “competent” business man”?

    And what about McCain and his Dominionist pitbull in pink who would be a heartbeat away from the Presidency?

    “… 2016 may be the last time to reverse that trend.”

    Little bit late to throw that one around! The GOP is drowning without a pray and, they know it! Does anyone believe that rabid, radical right-wing religious voters are “practical” folks who are willing to hold their nose/vote for Trump? Really?! Jeffress insults the “intelligence” of his own GOP base!

  3. ~~anecdote alert~~

    back in the late ’60, in my high school chem class, somehow someone asked the teacher about what he read… he said Mother Jones mag…

    that was considered a pretty radical mag back then.. you were considered pinko if not red…

    the next question someone asked was where he went to college and he said Wyoming State…

    the NEXT question was who do they play?

    he said ‘what?’

    who do they play in football…

    he kinda blew a gasket at the idea that that was how someone would judge how good a school was by who they played in football…

    anyway… its sorta why I follow MoJo

    good times[WINK]

  4. So he’s a known lying bull$hitter that’s what he does best! But his base thinks he’s their Savior.

  5. Trump’s awe-greedy, money-worshipers supporters will believe anything he says. Thats why he constantly reminds them of his “greatness” every time he speaks. Its getting very, very old already. They’re brainwashed already.

  6. It would be a mistake to count out the Republicans’ chances in 2016. Their hate-filled BS approach has worked year after year – after all they control the House, Senate, Supreme Court, Governorships and State Houses. Unless the Democrats select a candidate who appeals to moderate voters as well as the left-wing base, Democrats will lose the White House and President Obama’s wonderful achievements will be tossed overboard.

  7. The GOP message is inclusive to white fringe groups and/or disenfranchised white people on both ends of the economic scale. They’ve contaminated their own pool with a heavy doses of toxic psycho-cohesion. They cling to an immobilizing “fear magnet” and are sinking in their own greed, hate, antisemitism and racist creed. They are no longer capable of attracting the undecided voter no matter how much sweat they put into “team trump”.

  8. Sad to think that just because a President doesn’t spend all his time kissing the Evangelical’s asses, then he “hates Christianity”. How low do you have to be to think that?

    Evangelicals are scraping the bottom of the barrel if they think that Ted Cruz is some sort of religious savior. The man is PURE EVIL, as are all the other Evangelicals attempting to seize control of this nation.

  9. Another media shot at Donald Trump. This never ends and each time the media does this it makes his popularity rise.

    Trump is the best candidate, no script to follow , no big money to answer to ,can tell it like it is the way he sees it and is beholden to no one. How refreshing to have a political candidate that can tell the media to go to hell.

    The media has finally met it’s match and Trump is going to continue in his popularity for the foreseeable future because he is real like him or not.

    I never have seen a candidate being treated more unfairly by the media then Donald Trump.

    Trump 2016!!!

  10. The media is treating him unfairly? Jesus Christ this asshole was just on Jimmy Fallon, he has a prime spot on fox news. You are an idiot

  11. Take this from his tweet: “Have great love for the evangelicals — great respect for you.” Substitute Ukraine for evangelicals:

    “Have great love for the Ukraine — great respect for you.”

    Cricket chirp.

    (Swap it around a bit.)

    “Have great respect for the Ukraine — great love for you.”

    Cricket chirp.

    Repeat from the top a few times.

    That’s pretty much his speech at the Pro-Ukraine Conference.

  12. …oh, ya mean the same media who allows Trump not to spend a nickel on ads, because they ALL let him spout as much as he wants on any shows he wishes??? THAT Media???

  13. Trump’s a parrot, just repeating the same interchangeable rants. Hes doomed if he gets to debate any Democrat,he has no substance at all. His “answer”, or lack thereof, is always, “I just will, you’ll see.”

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