The political establishment was surprised when Donald Trump received 80-percent of the vote from born-again or "evangelical" Christians in 2016. This being the same Donald Trump known for decades as a billionaire playboy and casino mogul. But his divine support from people of faith was no miracle. In fact, a new poll shows President Trump now has an 83-percent approval rating among evangelical Christians.
So how has the man known as "The Donald" become the darling of faith-based voters? By taking up and defending issues that are important to Christians, like abortion, religious liberty, and support for Israel. "Faith-based church voters are still very deeply committed to fundamental things like religious freedom, defense of family and marriage, and sanctity of life," says Dave Welch with the Houston-based U.S. Pastor Council.
Welch tells KTRH that Christians saw Trump take up substantive issues during the 2016 campaign, and have now seen him deliver on them since taking office, which overrides any stylistic differences they may have about his conduct. "We may not agree with all of his tweeting for example, or sometimes with all of what he says or how he says it," says Welch. "But the fact is we are looking at a general performance issue, of what he's stood for and what he's done."
President Trump has also garnered strong support from influential Christian leaders like Rev. Franklin Graham, Jerry Falwell Jr., and Dr. Robert Jeffress. Based on that support and his record since taking office, Welch believes Trump's Christian support will only continue to grow. "I think most of the church-based voters going into 2020 are more likely to vote for him with that confidence now, after that time in office where he's actually delivered on what he promised," says Welch.