One year in, Evangelicals, conservatives still back The Donald

Friday, January 26, 2018
Billy Davis, Steve Jordahl (

Trump addressing CongressPolling shows President Donald Trump is getting mixed reviews from Americans after his first year in office but the president's religious base that put him in office remains firmly behind him.

"Conservative Christians of all types generally are pleased with what's happened so far," observes veteran pollster George Barna, "for the most part feeling that he has done what he could to keep his promises, and that he has really stuck with the positions that he took during the course of the campaign."

Barna and his American Culture and Faith Institute surveyed 1,000 adults with 41 questions about Trump's first 12 months in office, reporting in response to its findings:


Six out of ten born again adults who voted in the 2016 election backed Donald Trump. After his first year in office, the born again segment has remained generally supportive of President Trump. In 36 of the 38 questions on which respondents gave a positive/negative rating of some component of the president’s performance, born again adults held a more positive view of Mr. Trump than did adults who are not born again.

Citing exit polls after Election Day, The Washington Post and other outlets reported that a whopping 80 percent of Evangelicals said they voted for Trump over Hillary Clinton, choosing the nominal church attender over the liberal lifelong Methodist.

Franklin Graham praysAnd the media hasn't forgotten either. CNN host Don Lemon clashed with Franklin Graham this week over Trump's behavior past and present, and Family Research Council leader Tony Perkins told Politico that Evangelicals supported Trump, despite his well-publicized misdeeds, because they were "tired of being kicked around" by Barack Obama and the Left.

"George Patton couldn't care less about tone and language," Pastor Robert Jeffess told OneNewsNow weeks before Election Day. "He was intent on wining a war – and I think we are in a war right now."

The same Politico story cited a Pew poll from last December that showed support from evangelical Protestants had dropped from 78 percent last February, a month after Inauguration Day, to 61 percent last month.

Trump signs religious freedom EOOn balance, Barna and the Institute report, most Americans give Trump an unfavorable opinion: 52 percent have an "unfavorable" compared to 41 percent "favorable" to the Republican president.

Among those who identify as "Born Again" in the survey, 54 percent are "favorable" and 41 percent are "unfavorable" – almost a complete flip.

Trump's best number comes from self-identified "Conservatives" who give him a 71 percent "favorable" rating compared to just 19 percent of "Liberals."

The president's job approval falls as the people being asked fall in religious commitment: 59 percent of Born Again believers think Mr. Trump is doing a good job while 23 percent of religious skeptics think the same.

Falling somewhere in the middle are notional Christians and those with non-Christian faith.

Barna tells OneNewsNow that Americans in general are pleased with Trump's performance on the economy.

"They feel that he's gotten the economy going overall," he says. "They feel that he's done a good job with jobs and employment."

Trump at Liberty UBut even the numbers there betray a "Never-Trump" attitude among many Americans.

Despite all the evidence – companies giving employees raises, soon rising paycheck, the stock market soaring to record highs, only 36 percent of Americans think the economy is better now than a year ago.

Barna says the negative press is taking a toll.

"It's been - as far as any of us can tell - the most negative reporting that any president in office has ever faced," he observes. "That, too, has taken somewhat of a toll."

What the polls numbers really show, he summarizes, is that Americans are sharply and maybe irreconcilably split over President Donald Trump. 

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