John Fea: Are Evangelicals Afraid of Immigrants?

According to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll, most Americans disapprove of Donald Trump’s immigration policy and will not vote for him in 2020 because of it.  Here is a summary of the report from Greg Sargent at the Post:

The new Post-ABC News poll underscores what a gamble this is for Trump. It finds that overall, the issue is a net negative for him: 44 percent of Americans say Trump’s handling of illegal immigration makes them more likely to oppose his reelection, vs. 31 percent who say it makes them more likely to support him, while 24 percent say it won’t be a factor.

What’s even more interesting, though, is how this breaks down among some of the voter groups who powered the Democratic victory in 2018:

  • Among college-educated whites, 45 percent say Trump’s handling of the issue makes them more likely to oppose his reelection, vs. 34 percent who say the opposite. Among college-educated white women, that’s even more pronounced, at 48 percent to 31 percent.
  • Among suburban voters, this breakdown is 42 percent to 33 percent.
  • Among independents, who also swung substantially toward Democrats in the midterms, that’s 41 percent to 32 percent.
  • Among voters ages 18 to 29, that’s a staggering 55 percent to 22 percent, and among voters ages 30 to 39, it’s 48 percent to 25 percent.

On the flip side, though, the issue works for Trump among the voters in his base:

  • Among rural voters, 45 percent say Trump’s handling of the issue makes them more likely to support his reelection, vs. 29 percent who say it makes them less likely.
  • White voters without a college degree say the same by 43 percent to 34 percent.
  • And get this: Among white evangelical Christians, that breakdown is an overwhelming 63 percent to 16 percent

Why are evangelicals so afraid of immigrants when the majority of the country oppose Trump’s policies?

Here are some reasons:

Many evangelicals get their information from Fox News, a network that exploits America’s immigration problem for ratings. Have undocumented immigrants or refugees (which came into the country legally) committed horrendous crimes? Yes. But they are not representative. Here is what I wrote in Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump:

Click here to read more.

SOURCE: Christian Post, John Fea