Pew Study: 82 Percent of White Evangelicals Would Vote for Trump if 2020 Election Were Held Today Despite Poor Job Performance

Faith leaders place their hands on the shoulders of U.S. President Donald Trump as he takes part in a prayer for those affected by Hurricane Harvey in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 1, 2017. | REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Eighty-two percent of white evangelical Protestant registered voters say they would vote for President Donald Trump or lean toward voting for him if the 2020 presidential election were held today even though an increasing share of them disapprove of the way he has been doing his job, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

This support is 5% higher than the 77% of white evangelical Protestant voters who indicated in another Pew survey that they backed Trump after the 2016 presidential election. Exit polling has shown that 81% voted for him in 2016.

Results from the latest Pew survey conducted June 16 to 22, show that despite the strong support the president has among white evangelicals, a declining number approves of the way he has been handling his job in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and the social unrest over racial injustice and police brutality. The survey shows that 72% of white evangelicals approve of the way the president is doing his job reflecting a 6% drop from two months ago.

Only 17% said they would support his rival, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden whose campaign recently revealed that they are courting evangelical voters. Biden is only faring 1% better than 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton who got 16% of the white evangelical vote.

Some 26% of white evangelical Protestants say Biden would make a “poor” president while 49% believe he would be “terrible.”  Seventy percent of them say Trump has been good or great in his role.

Dean Inserra, the Southern Baptist pastor of City Church in Tallahassee, Florida, told The Washington Post that Trump continues to enjoy strong support from evangelicals because he is seen as the “Christian” choice and a “defender” of the faithful.

“Some think that a vote for Trump is a Christian vote, that it means they’re voting against abortion or they’re happy with the Supreme Court. It’s the ends justifies the means,” he said. Trump “represents a defender of their way of life. He’s the representation of someone who’s on their side,” Inserra added.

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Leonardo Blair