The reason why Trump is threatening states over reopening churches is that his own polling reveals that religious voters are leaving him.
Politico reported on Trump’s slide with religious voters:
The anxiety over Trump’s standing with the Christian right surfaced after a pair of surveys by reputable outfits earlier this month found waning confidence in the administration’s coronavirus response among key religious groups, with a staggering decline in the president’s favorability among white evangelicals and white Catholics. Both are crucial constituencies that supported Trump by wide margins in 2016 and could sink his reelection prospects if their turnout shrinks this fall.
The polls paint a bleak picture for Trump, who has counted on broadening his religious support by at least a few percentage points to compensate for weakened appeal with women and suburban populations. One GOP official said the dip in the president’s evangelical support also appeared in internal party polling, but disputed the notion that it had caused panic. Another person close to the campaign described an April survey by the Public Religion Research Institute, which showed a double-digit decline in Trump’s favorability among white evangelicals (-11), white Catholics (-12) and white mainline protestants (-18) from the previous month, as “pretty concerning.”
Those sliding poll numbers are why Trump claimed to have imaginary powers to override the governors on reopening churches:
Trump's claim that he can override the governors on reopening churches is completely imaginary. Presidents can't override governors. pic.twitter.com/Fljhu6D6hB
— Sarah Reese Jones (@PoliticusSarah) May 22, 2020
Religious voters just like seniors, Independents, and other groups of voters are showing signs of leaving Trump. Trump absolutely needs to increase turnout among church-attending voters who support him, because even a small drop in support will result in him losing the election.
Behind the pandering of Trump’s announcement was a clear panic.
If his support drops with religious Republicans, Trump is toast in November.
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Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association