How Does Trump Match Up With Evangelicals?

trump 3According to an article by Sarah Pullium Bailey of the Washington Post on “Debate Day”, Donald trump has a powerful lead with Evangelical voters compared to all of the other candidates. While affirming the early lead the Trump has in what they call the “Reality TV phase”* of this election cycle, for the most part the lead among Evangelical voters is one that hasn’t begun to take shape. The article illustrates just how tenuous Trump’s hold on the Republican nomination is. Trump 1 pollThis is a point in the election cycle when the media-hype is the only real information that voter have. You can imagine that, by the time the primaries begin, Trump will be thoroughly vetted whether he likes it or not. It is in the vetting that the media, and the public, will have a clearer understanding of how “the Donald” is being accepted by Evangelicals. Many questions from this vetting process are unanswered. OnTheIssues.org offers a resource that gives voters a window on where candidates stand “On The Issues” One considerably large concern for Evangelicals is on the issue of unborn rights. Here are the stances that Donald Trump has taken on this issue:

• Ban late abortions; exceptions for rape, incest or health. (Jun 2015)

• I am now pro-life; after years of being pro-choice. (Apr 2011)

• I changed my views to pro-life based on personal stories. (Apr 2011)

• I am pro-life; fight ObamaCare abortion funding. (Feb 2011)

• Pro-choice, but ban partial birth abortion. (Jul 2000) • Favors abortion rights but respects opposition. (Dec 1999)**

Evangelicals are one of the largest advocates for education reform and school choice, often opting out of public schools completely and preferring home-schooling. On education, Trump has several positions that would require vetting:

• Common Core is a disaster. (Jun 2015)

• Cut the Department of Education way, way down. (Jun 2015)

• Opposes Common Core. (Feb 2015)

• Teach citizenship; stop “dumbing down”. (Jul 2000)

• End “creative spelling,” “estimating,” & “empowerment”. (Jul 2000)

• Bring on the competition; tear down the union walls. (Jul 2000)

• School choice will improve public schools. (Jul 2000)**

“Focus on the Family” is more than just the title to a popular radio broadcast. It is among the top priorities for Evangelicals, and here Mr. Trump’s record appears to be somewhat thin. His focus, however, on working for a living, may buoy his family credentials.  He has positions that do show compassion, but also a need for being industrious, both strong biblical principles. It is also worth noting that Evangelicals are not big fans of gambling, and Trump is a casino mogul. Still, he has made recent statements regarding families.

• Stress importance of a strong family, & a culture of Life. (Jun 2015)

• I don’t like firing people; work makes people better. (Dec 2011)

• Food stamps should be temporary; not a decade on the dole. (Dec 2011)

• Apply welfare-to-work to 76 other welfare programs. (Dec 2011)

• Let “saints” help teen moms; restrict public assistance. (Jul 2000)**

The Donald has two other very large hurdles, and the first debate could help him establish himself with a very important voting bloc in the early, conservative-leaning states; Evangelical leadership and ability to defeat the politically adverse Democrat in the general election. The Washington Post article focused on both of these topics, the first being how the Evangelical leaders evaluate Trump’s record and his answers. The Post quoted Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention’s ELRC,

“I haven’t talked to a pastor yet who is supporting Donald Trump,” said (Russell) Moore, president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission…”*

Additionally, the staying and winning power of the candidates. Bailey notes,

“Evangelicals will look for a candidate who seems to represent them on issues like religious liberty and abortion, but they will also look for someone who can eventually win, said Thomas Kidd, a history professor at Baylor University.”*

Credit ontheissues.org
Credit ontheissues.org

OnTheIssues.org considers Donald Trump to be a “Hard Core Conservative” on the issues. If he acquits himself well in the debates, he just may capture the Evangelical votes he needs to move into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Works Cited *Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. “Which presidential candidate leads among evangelicals? Right now, it’s Donald Trump.” Washingtonpost.com. 8 06, 2015. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2015/08/06/which-presidential-candidate-leads-among-evangelicals-right-now-its-donald-trump/ (accessed 8 6, 2015). **Ontheissues.org. “Donald Trump On The Issues.” ontheissues.org. 08 06, 2015. http://www.ontheissues.org/Donald_Trump.htm (accessed 08 06, 2015).

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19 comments

  1. I am not an American, but I struggle to see how any sane person could take Donald Trump seriously. He seems beyond satire.

    Surely the first requirement of any political leader is their competence and their character. Religious views should be secondary to these issues. Imagine Donald Trump having control over the use of Nuclear weapons.

    • Well said, Peter. There is an undercurrent of mistrust of the establishment, particularly in the right wing in the USA. When the left crammed socialized medicine down the country’s throat, the Tea Party was born. The establishment Republicans benefited from the Tea Party in the 2010 election, but there has been very little impact for having given the Republicans the congress.

      The Tea Party voters acquired a romantic attachment to Trump, partially from his unbridled speech, and partially because the establishment hates Trump. What the Tea Party refuses to see at the moment, is that Trump is a frighteningly horrible candidate. He has no plan, no substance, is rude-crude-bombastic, and embarrasses our country. Hundreds of conspiracy-theories about establishment candidates abound where Tea Partiers try to connect ties between Democrat and Republican dynastic candidates… its a mess.

      I like Carson, Walker, Cruz and Fiorina, for what its worth.

  2. Hey David, good post.

    I would prefer a strong conservative who has Christian values for sure but if it comes down to Trump vs. Clinton, I’m going with the lesser of two evils.

    Personally I like Scott Walker but I don’t think he has the funding or name recognition to get very far.

    I also think Mike has a good point and this could all be a side show. Donald Trump has a giant ego, loves attention, and this is getting him a ton of it.

    James

  3. I can’t even……I just can’t. Trump has basically turned NYC into a freak show of wealth. Because of his development, he’s actually pushed the Middle Class out of Manhattan. I’m praying. Yes. I’m praying the Rosary and I’ll say a few Novenas and go to Mass just to pray that the vermin and truthfully Donald Trump never EVER makes it near the white house.

    • Catherine, I hope you know that my article is about the issues and Evangelicals… I tried to be dispassionate about Trump. Personally, the only way I’ll vote for Trump is while holding my nose in a general election ON THE REPUBLICAN TICKET (he just weaseled that in the debate).

      And I agree with what you said. Thanks for your visit!

  4. since when does a ‘conservative’ New York Democrat get to run as a Republican?
    you know he’s just the ‘side show’ of the media coverage of the Republican challengers. He won’t get anywhere near the nomination so why are we even talking about him?

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