In many states, Evangelical Christians make up 50% or more of the Republican Primary electorate. While Donald Trump’s competitors attempt to win religious support by quoting the Bible and announcing their faith, the Republican frontrunner has somehow managed to attract a big portion of Evangelical voters without making overtly religions statements.
Donald Trump has announced his Protestant faith and posed questions about the Evangelical standing of his rival Ted Cruz, but experts believe Trump’s success with the religious right is a result of his habits of ignoring political correctness and railing against our country’s current decline.
According to a recent nationwide NBC News/Survey Monkey poll, 33% of white Evangelical voters favor Donald Trump. Cruz comes in second place with 21% and Ben Carson sits in third place with 12%. Overall, Trump continues to lead the GOP with 35%. Senator Cruz comes in second with a lousy 18% followed by Marco Rubio with 13%.
“It is very clear that he is acceptable to a lot of Evangelicals,” says Tony Perkins, President of the Christian-based advocacy group known as the Family Research Council. “If you think across the country of a segment of the population that has been more throttled back by political correctness or targeted with political correctness, it’s Evangelicals,” he said, explaining that Trump’s refusal to be ‘politically correct’ appeals to the Evangelical community.
“He has hit a nerve with large segments of the electorate who feel that the country is on a downward trajectory,” says Gary L. Bauer of the Campaign for Working Families political action committee. “That concern crosses all sorts of lines: social lines, religious lines, etc. And he has done a very effective job giving voice to that, and I think it explains why he’s been a very formidable competitor for the last six months.”
Although Cruz has won more Evangelical support than Trump in Iowa, some of his success can be attributed to Ben Carson’s sudden decline. According to a Monmouth University poll conducted in December, Cruz had 30% of Evangelical voters in the Hawkeye State. Trump came in second with 18% and Rubio was in third with 16%.
Ted Cruz, who has made an aggressive effort to attract religious voters throughout his campaign, toured Iowa this week by bus. The most recent polls of Iowa voters show Cruz leading with 31% followed by Donald Trump with 27% and Marco Rubio with 11%.
While he may not be heard frequently quoting the Scripture, Donald Trump has his own way of supporting America’s Christians. Nina May, a writer for the Washington Times, shares her story of a recent trip to New York:
May visited the Trump Tower, which she described as “a microcosm of who and what America is at its heart.” After seeing not a single Christian decoration while walking through the streets of New York, May was overjoyed when she walked into Trump Tower. “…There was this tiny island of faith and magic in a sea of politically correct mediocrity that assaulted the senses on so many levels.”
“The bustle of a free market system decked in a reminder that we celebrate the birth of the Savior to the world, in a building designed by a man who could arguably be called arrogant suggested that he understands where his power comes from and wants to share that glory with the King of the universe,” wrote May.