Approval of Donald Trump is slipping among evangelicals and other Christians, survey says
Approval of Donald Trump's performance as President among evangelical Christians is slipping, according to a survey.
However, the Politico/Daily Caller survey does not separate out white evangelicals – around 80 per cent of whom voted for Trump last November – and it is probable that the declining support is among Latino evangelicals who were less supportive of Trump in the first place.
In March, evangelicals approvedl of Trump by a margin of two to one: 63 per cent to 32 per cent, according to the original Politico/Daily Caller survey.
Five months later, the same surveyors have found that the margin has shrunk by more than half, to 56-42.
An even bigger slip in support has been recorded among non-evangelical Christians, both Protestant and Catholic. In March, they approved of Trump's performance 58 per cent to 40 per cent, and now, they disapprove of it by a margin of 56 per cent to 40 per cent.
The new survey comes after reports that evangelical leaders are, nonetheless, tightening their grip on the White House under Trump, with a series of prayer and policy meetings and apparently growing influence.
Richard Land, the predecessor to Russell Moore as head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, earlier this month said that the so-called religious right has gained 'unprecedented access' to the White House under Trump's presidency, and is having an 'impact on policy'.
Land, who was among the evangelical leaders who famously prayed with Trump in the Oval Office on July 10, stepped up his claims of influence after saying in January that he had been asked for 'personnel recommendations' by the Trump administration.
Land said he and other evangelical leaders including Tony Perkins, Gary Bauer and Ralph Reed 'all testified to the fact that we've never had the kind of open access to the administration that we've had in this administration'.
He continued: 'And it is sort of nice when you walk around the halls of the Eisenhower Executive Office Building to keep running into people you know who are evangelicals. Personnel is policy. And there are more evangelicals in this administration as personnel than any administration in my lifetime...And, you know, it's a lot easier to explain evangelical concerns to evangelicals.'
Land added: 'Not only do we have access, but we have had impact on decisions. We have had impact on policy. And it's a whole different atmosphere, there really is, there's a different atmosphere in the White House and the administration.'
He went on to say that Trump is 'absolutely fascinated by evangelicals' and 'finds us to be in sync with him on a lot of things'.