Will Donald Trump Win Over the Evangelical Christian Vote?
Evangelicals have mixed reactions to Trump’s candidacy.
Anyone who wants to become the next president of the United States needs to consider courting religious groups like the Evangelical Christians because they are noted for block voting. And perhaps the candidate who is having a hard time convincing the evangelicals is Donald Trump. This is amidst his recent surge as the top contender for the republican race.
Trump is well known for being vocal, arrogant, provocative and somewhat radical or racist for some. But his relationship with the Christian community has eventually deteriorated when he made surprising answers concerning his faith during an interview last month with the Iowa Family Leadership Forum.
Trump was asked whether he asks for forgiveness on his actions from God. According to Trump “I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. If I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” But even so, Trump stressed that he loves God and regularly asks communion at his church.
Evangelicals don’t look at the candidate’s faith alone
Contrary to popular belief, evangelicals are not only looking at the candidate’s faith when choosing someone whom they will support. According to Russell Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, it’s not about “identity politics.” Instead “They’re looking for someone who will lead with justice for the common good.” It will be a mix of scrutiny on the candidate’s platform or plans, character, faith, etc.
Don’t lose sleep over Trump polls. Most evangelicals aren’t engaged, much less being polled. It’s early. Silly season. Happens every time.
— Daniel Darling (@dandarling) August 6, 2015
As one evangelical voter says “faith is not a deal breaker. I’m not going to agree with everything that a candidate says.” Another cited that the candidate’s faith is not the defining factor for her when choosing a candidate to vote for.
And when it comes to character, Moore sees that this is one of the issues the evangelicals will have to consider when discussing Donald Trump. Moore pointed out Trump’s personal issues like being divorced twice, a man linked with casinos and gambling, being aggressive to Mexican migrants, and was even unconcerned with the fate of the Christian missionaries who contracted Ebola due to their work.
Positive views on Donald Trump
If you think that majority of evangelicals hate Trump, it’s worthy to note that there are those who are willing to support and vote for him. According to Elicia Horton who is a church planter and is of Hispanic descent “Even though being an Hispanic and all the backfire that’s come on Donald Trump, I’m really interested to see what he’s going to do ’cause he just has a whole different perspective on business and the economy.”
David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network cited that Trump’s appeal to some evangelicals is brought about by his “absolute” nature. He appreciates the candidate’s honesty especially on his faith.
The negative views on Trump
Those who are against Trump often have a unanimous take on the candidate: Trump is a very good businessman, he is powerful and rich but when it comes to the idea of leading the most powerful country in the world, he is just not capable.
Pam Lyon, a Kentucky voter described Trump as a “loose cannon” and “grandstander.” Her husband Wally added that the candidate is “too radical” He cites that the best candidate for him is a man who can make laws based on God’s teachings and principles.