If you go by polling, President Trump has taken a hit in the eyes of some evangelicals in recent months. But is it enough to hurt him come November? New research seems to indicate – not really.
According to a Pew Research Center survey out this week, among white evangelicals President Trump still has a 72-percent approval rating. That's a drop of six percent since April.
But even with that slip, 82-percent of white evangelicals still say they're leaning toward voting for the president in the November election. All polls need to be taken with a grain of salt since some voters are unlikely to voice their opinions in these divisive times, but Pew does have a pretty good track record.
CBN News Chief Political Analyst David Brody says the poll indicates President Trump lost a little bit of support partly because of the George Floyd aftermath, including the Bible photo incident in front of St. John's Church across the street from the White House.
The recent Supreme Court ruling that redefined "sex" to include LGBT ideology may have also disheartened some conservatives because one of Trump's Supreme Court picks, Justice Neil Gorsuch, sided with the more liberal justices.
But that ruling also may fuel evangelicals to consider that several more Supreme Court nominees could be at stake in the coming years, and they could flip the balance of the court in one way or the other.
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Meanwhile, only 17 percent of white evangelicals are saying they'll back the Democrat's presumptive presidential nominee, Joe Biden.
President Trump won the 2016 election with 81 percent of the white evangelical vote. Brody says, this time around, "Donald Trump has to be north of 81 percent (to win) – 82 percent is a little too close for comfort. He's probably gotta be up close to 83, 84 or 85 percent". He says if Trump achieves 84 or 85 percent of that support "it's over – he wins a second term."
Here’s the respected @pewresearch poll & current white evangelical support for @realDonaldTrump . The 82% figure is key. If it gets to 83% or definitely 84% it’s lights out for @JoeBiden . A road to a second term for @POTUS goes through white evangelicals. It’s that simple. pic.twitter.com/3bTP71a00M
— David Brody (@DavidBrodyCBN) July 2, 2020
"The road to the White House goes through evangelicals - the Trump administration knows it," Brody said.
Meanwhile, majorities in other Christian groups also still support President Trump. He scored a 56% approval rating among non-evangelical white Protestants in June and 54% approval among white Catholics.