The Economy and Defense Sustain Trump's Evangelical Support

Donald Trump is sworn in as president on January 20, 2017: Trump, wife Melania, son Donald Jr., son Barron, daughter Ivanka, son Eric, and daughter Tiffany (Source: Wikipedia)

By George Barna - Posted at the American Culture and Faith Institute:

Donald Trump holds onto Evangelical support despite the media thrashings.

Donald Trump was voted into office on the strength of support from Christians. The final 2016 vote tally showed that 57 percent of all self-identified Christians backed the brash real estate magnate while less than half as many non-Christians (26 percent) gave him their vote. In contrast, Hillary Clinton’s main source of support was the non-Christian population. Overall, 62 percent of voters who are aligned with a non-Christian faith or who are among the religious skeptics (i.e., atheists, agnostics, and nones) voted for the Democratic Party nominee. She garnered just 37 percent of the votes cast by those who claimed to be Christian.

At the beginning of the primary season in 2016, Trump was generally dismissed by born-again voters. In January 2016, only 38 percent of them had a favorable impression of him. By April, although he was emerging as the likely Republican nominee, his favorability among born again voters had slumped to 31 percent. But a series of events rallied Christians behind him, as discovered by the research described in the book The Day Christians Changed America. Consequently, Trump’s positive rating among the born-again public jumped to a respectable 53 percent by Election Day.

While the mainstream media continue to trash the president, his favorability numbers have remained relatively consistent among born again Christians over the past 15 months. At the start of his presidency, in February 2017, he had a 58 percent favorability score with born agains. In our most recent measurement, in mid-January of 2018, 54 percent of that segment still awarded him a favorable rating.

During the election cycle, Trump’s appeal to born-again voters – a large subset of the Christian vote, representing about 30 percent of the total population – was certainly not his character. That was significant because born again voters typically look for a candidate who blends strong character with conservative political views. That makes Trump’s ascendancy among born again all the more incredible since born-again voters deemed his character detrimental and they were not sure if they could trust him to stick to his freshly-minted conservative views.

In the end, it was his positions on several issues of the greatest importance to Christ followers that persuaded them that he was safer bet than his undeniably liberal opponent. Specifically, Trump’s stands on heath care, immigration, the Supreme Court, abortion, the economy, national defense, and terrorism were highest on the born again priority list. On Election Day, born-again Christians bet that Trump would perform as promised in those areas.

Now, a year into his term, how do born again adults say he has done in those same areas of interest?