White evangelical support for President Donald Trump may not be as strong as presumed, according to experts on religion and politics in the United States at a panel event hosted by a conservative think tank.
The Washington, D.C.-based American Enterprise Institute hosted a panel event on Wednesday morning titled “The Christian right in the Trump and post-Trump eras.”
Joanna Piacenza, features editor for Morning Consult, reviewed new research conducted on the views of white evangelicals and other religious groups about President Trump.
The Morning Consult survey, posted Wednesday, found that white evangelicals were less likely than Republicans in general to want Trump to be the presidential nominee in 2020.
Fifty-five percent of white evangelical respondents wanted Trump to be at the top of the 2020 presidential ticket, with 20 percent responding that they don’t know or hold no opinion, 18 percent saying Vice President Mike Pence, and 8 percent wanting another Republican.
By contrast, 71 percent of Republican respondents wanted Trump at the top of the ticket, followed by 13 percent wanting Vice President Pence, 10 percent saying they don’t know or have no opinion, and 5 percent saying another Republican.
This meant that among overall Republicans, there was a 16 percent higher rate of support for Trump running in 2020 than among white evangelicals.
“It’s important to note, however, that in 2016, white evangelicals voted for Trump at an 8 to 2 margin,” noted Piacenza during the panel event.
“So that 20 percent is about in line as what we saw two, three years ago during the election. It also means that 20 percent is up for grabs, that 8 percent could be up for grabs.”