While the country spins, is Trump's evangelical base eroding?

Tuesday, June 9, 2020
 | 
Jody Brown, Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Trump with Christian conservatives placardFour out of five Americans think the country is "out of control," according to a recent poll. One of the president's evangelical advisors says that could mean rocky waters ahead for President Donald Trump.

People locked inside their homes and out of their churches for more than two months … an economy in tatters … rioting and looting in America's streets – those are some of the reasons 80 percent of Americans feel that things are "out of control" in the country. Other factors, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, include the number of U.S. deaths attributed to the coronavirus, as well as unemployment rates reaching historic highs. (See related story)

Dr. Robert Jeffress is senior pastor of First Baptist Church-Dallas and one of President Trump's evangelical advisors. He acknowledges the toll those factors have taken on the American populace – but also places some of the blame on an anti-Trump media.

Jeffress

"There's just been a trifecta of bad circumstances that have formed a perfect storm: the pandemic, the economic fallout from the pandemic, the lawlessness and riots in the streets, … [but also] the unrelenting and unprecedented criticism from the mainstream media," Jeffress tells OneNewsNow.

And it's costing the president the support of his base, says the pastor. "Let's be honest: The Trump people have a problem in the polls right now, and they've got a problem with [the support of] evangelical Christians," he states.

In a column published yesterday, Dr. Michael Brown writes addressed what some evangelicals might be wondering about the president's performance:

"And what about President Trump? Do we feel that he has a grip on how best to handle our current crises, the likes of which no president in history has faced at once? Even the staunchest Trump supporter must realize that nothing prepared him (or any of our national leaders) for a moment quite like this.

"The simple truth is that America needs God, and whichever way we turn, we find only partial solutions."

Jeffress argues that even though none of the chaos is the president's fault, he's still taking heat from voters, particularly Christian voters. "The fact is most people – and I have to say it, most Christians – are weak when you get down to it. They are very weak," he laments.

"They blow with public opinion, and they don't want to be thought of bad by other people. And so they just go back and forth … and I think all of that is contributing to this drop in the polls that we're seeing."

The good news, according to Jeffress, is that there's a long time before November, and there's a good chance most of the chaos will be gone by then.

Regardless, Dr. Brown concludes his column with this acknowledgment:

"Without divine intervention, America is in deep trouble. But if we call out for mercy – no, desperately plead for mercy – and give ourselves unconditionally to be agents of hope and healing, then all things are possible.

"Things certainly are spiraling out of control. It’s high time that we appeal to the only One who can set things right. There is a time when even the proudest among us must bow the knee. Now is such a time."

The NBC News/WSJ poll was conducted May 28 - June 2 by Hart Research Associates and was based on phone interviews with 1,000 registered voters. None of the questions dealt with respondents' religious affiliations.

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