POLITICO: Trump’s Reelection Looks Unlikely If He Loses More Evangelical Support May 24, 2020

POLITICO: Trump’s Reelection Looks Unlikely If He Loses More Evangelical Support

The good news is that Donald Trump has been steadily losing white evangelical voters who’ve concluded that he’s not doing such a hot job handling the COVID crisis.

The bad news is that for the next 163 days, until the election, Trump will treat those evangelicals like the belle of the ball, courting them every way he can think of, and gifting them policies that are sure to further erode the wall between church and state.

From POLITICO:

A sudden shift in support for Donald Trump among religious conservatives is triggering alarm bells inside his reelection campaign, where top aides have long banked on expanding the president’s evangelical base as a key part of their strategy for victory this November.

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. … [A] 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.

When Trump suddenly demanded two days ago that governors allow the reopening of churches, effective immediately, that was a move designed to win back evangelical Christians, POLITICO says.

The announcement — which came days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention omitted religious institutions in new guidance about industry reopenings — featured clear appeals to white evangelicals, many of whom have long supported Trump’s socially conservative agenda.

He had to do something.

[The] Pew Research Center released new data last week that showed a 7-point increase from April to May in white Catholics who disapprove of Trump’s response to the Covid-19 crisis, and a 6-point decline among white evangelicals who previously gave him positive marks.

Judging by word and deed, the Pussygrabber-in-Chief sure would seem to be the least Christian U.S. president ever. But as long as he can make his base think he’s devout, and continues to drop juicy culture-war morsels into evangelicals’ insatiable maws, his team figures he has a shot at a second term.

Trump campaign aides, White House officials and outside allies are responding to the threat by boosting their outreach to religious voters and promising to prioritize religious gatherings as they push to reopen the U.S. economy.

If you have the stomach for a closer look at how right-wing religious groups are working with Trump strategists to hand him another four years at the helm, The Intercept has that story.

(Image via Shutterstock)

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