While evangelical Christians have been ardent supporters of Donald Trump, it now appears that a large portion of that political base is running away from Trump thanks to his foul language and extramarital affairs.
The New York Times has reached out to dozens of evangelical women who voted for Trump in 2016, and what they found can best be described as intense buyer’s regret.
Carol Rains, a white evangelical Christian from Dallas, said she wants to see someone run against Trump in 2020:
“I would like for someone to challenge him, but it needs to be somebody that’s strong enough to go against the Democrats.”
Her friend, Linda Leonhart, agreed:
“I will definitely take a look to see who has the courage to take on a job like this and do what needs to be done.
“Certainly we are all embarrassed.”
Recent surveys also point to what Rains and Leonhart told the Times. A Pew Research Center poll shows that support for Trump among white evangelical women has dropped some 13 percentage points to 60 percent. And that’s in stark contrast to Trump’s overall polling average among women, which is down only 8 points.
Karen Swallow Prior, a professor at Christian Liberty University, didn’t vote for Trump, and is pleased to see women coming to their senses in regard to the president:
“Now that Trump is in office and we are evaluating his performance then, I am glad to see that people are less in lockstep and thinking critically about him as a leader, and it doesn’t surprise me that his overall support would decline from 80 percent.
“In some ways, I felt betrayed by my evangelical peers who taught me and cemented in me the idea that character matters. I didn’t abandon that belief. I feel like some evangelicals did.”
Could Trump’s support among evangelicals collapse completely? Might there be a breaking point, even among Christians? According to author William Martin, who wrote With God on Our Side, many may have already reached that point:
“It may simply be that there’s not a single breaking point as much as a tipping point, the ‘Oh Lord, I can’t stand another one of these.’”
And knowing Donald Trump, we can probably expect plenty of those moments in the weeks and months ahead.