Evangelicals, unhappy with Trump, still stick with him

Wednesday, October 12, 2016
 | 
Chad Groening, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Trump confident pointing upAdvice for and criticism about Donald Trump are pouring in from longtime conservatives, who are concerned more about Hillary Clinton in the White House than Donald Trump's many flaws. 

"We have two bad actors," observes Cathie Adams of pro-family group Eagle Forum.

"So what are we as the American voter going to do on Election Day?" Adams asks. She will vote for Donald Trump, she tells OneNewsNow, calling him the "less of two evils."

As the Republican nominee, Trump has enjoyed mixed support from evangelical voters despite his multiple marriages and playboy lifestyle, and his ignorance of biblical beliefs. The candidate's in-your-face antics have troubled some throughout the year, too.

More evangelical response

Trump's comments about his ability to seduce women did cost him the support of several prominent Republicans and some evangelical leaders – including author Beth Moore, who is open about being the victim of sexual abuse as a young woman; and theologian Wayne Grudem of Phoenix Seminary.

Jeffress

Other evangelicals, like pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, admit they're disgusted but have no plans to abandon the Republican nominee.

"Trump's comments were offensive, they were crude, they were indefensible," the pastor tells OneNewsNow, "but they're not enough to make me vote for Hillary Clinton."

For Jeffress, it's the issues that matter. "Those who are so concerned about Trump's assault on the dignity of women really need to ask themselves: Are they willing, then, to allow a woman to become president who supports the greatest assault [of all] on women: murdering them in the womb before they have a chance to be born?"

Mohler, Dr. Albert (SBTS)In contrast, Dr. Al Mohler – never a Trump supporter – admits the comments are a bridge too far for him. "This is someone who takes pride in being, at least in attitude, a sexual predator – and that's a line I could never cross in terms of my vote," the president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary states.

Mohler doesn't hold out much hope for the situation. "We are stuck with a situation which is nothing less than a disaster .... Humanly speaking [there's] no means of rescue – only a means of perhaps rescuing our conscience."

Dunn, Charles (Regent Univ.)Dr. Charles W. Dunn, an evangelical political scientist, believes "doubters" will now come into play as a result of differing reactions among evangelicals. He points out that Jeffress and Mohler – both Southern Baptists – reflect a divide found among many people of faith.

"So how will the evangelicals handle this matter?" Dunn wonders. "Will they, on moral grounds, vote against Trump? Or will they, on pragmatic grounds, vote for Jeffress' man, Trump?"

He continues: "Or it could be that evangelicals will, as they often have done for many years, not vote in significant numbers, reflecting 'doubters' – and doubters now appear to have a dominate role in the electorate."

Dunn says the vote of the doubters - both among evangelicals and voters in general - could play a significant role in this race.

But the past really caught up to Trump over the weekend when lewd comments he made about women, recorded in 2005 in a private conversation, were published by The Washington Post.  

Trump then entered the October 9 presidential debate where he apologized for the comments but also went after Clinton and her philandering husband, and Bill Clinton's multiple allegations of sexual assault. The ex-president's accusers sat in the audience at Trump's invitation.

What Trump needs to do in the coming days and weeks, says veteran GOP activist Richard Viguerie, is make it clear that the Nov. 8 election is about more than two individuals running for office.

"They're not voting for him or Hillary so much as they are for a worldview," says Viguerie, who has championed conservative causes since the 1970s. "And that (Trump) represents a worldview radically different than she."

Viguerie rattles off issues such as Supreme Court justices, securing the U.S.-Mexico border, and taxes and government regulations. Trump must move the campaign topic from himself to those issues, he says.

"The messenger may be a real problem," observes former Texas Republican Party leader Tom Pauken, "but the message resonates with most Americans."

He says talking about bringing back jobs to the United States to rebuilding our manufacturing base, and saying that a nation that can't secure its borders isn't really a nation, are winning campaign issues.

Trump, meanwhile, has dropped behind Clinton in numerous polls after tying her in some and inching ahead in others. Worse than that, Clinton is projected to be only 10 votes away from securing 270 Electoral College votes.

According to the RCP projection, Trump would need to win all of the toss-up states - and Clinton lose them all - to win on Election Day.


10/13/2016 - Dunn's remarks added.

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