Evangelical Christian support for President Donald Trump has dropped since the demographic majorly influenced Trump’s election win last year, found a new poll conducted by Politico/Daily Caller.
Evangelicals were one of Trump’s core sources of support during the contentious election, and their votes were largely credited with propelling him into office. An informal Israel365 poll conducted before the election found that a whopping 90 percent of readers, the majority of whom identify as Evangelical Christians, supported Trump.
However, over the course of his time in office, Evangelical support for Trump has waned, according to the poll. It found that while in March, 63 percent of Evangelicals approved of the job Trump was doing as president, five months later in the August poll, that number had dropped to 56 percent.
Simultaneously, the number of Evangelicals who disapproved of Trump’s performance went up 10 percentage points during the same period, from 32 percent in March to 42 percent in August.
“Considering the fact that Trump has not changed his position—or disposition—since the election, one might wonder what prompted the people that have changed their minds since he took office in January to vote for him in the first place,” mused Charisma News in its reporting of the poll.
One factor seems obvious. Many Evangelicals voted for Trump on the strength of his pro-Israel agenda, hoping to see a president who would bring the two countries closer after eight years of icy cordiality under former President Barack Obama. However, it was during the period between the two polls that President Trump backed away from a campaign promise which Evangelicals were eager to see fulfilled: the moving of the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Israel’s capital.
“President Trump’s promise to move the embassy to Jerusalem was of critical importance to millions of Christian Zionists who ultimately supported his bid for the White House,” pointed out Pastor John Hagee, founder of the influential Christian Zionist group Christians United for Israel (CUFI), when it became clear in May that the president would likely not make the move.
He warned that Evangelical Christians “will be watching what the president does very closely.”
But support for Trump did not only show a decline among Evangelicals. Non-Evangelical Protestants polled plummeted from 64 percent approving of the president to 49 percent, and Roman Catholics polled dropped from 60 percent approving to 44.
Christian support overall also declined, from 61 percent approving of the president in March to just 47 percent approving in August.
Nevertheless, many Evangelicals remain hopeful for Trump’s tenure and see in his collection of strong religious advisors signs of adherence to Biblical wisdom. However, as Mark Silk warned on Religion News, it is “not a good idea” for Trump to ignore this crucial religious demographic in the future.