In the 2016 US election, white evangelical Christians resoundingly voted for Donald Trump and were critical in his Presidential victory. Despite much of Trump's behaviour seen as an affront to "traditional values", 81% of evangelicals turned out to vote for him. Why?
White evangelicals back Trump because he privileges them in policy decisionsShow moreShow less
As Rachel Laser, president and CEO of Americans United, notes: Trump "confers privilege in exchange for constant loyalty at the ballot box, no matter what he does.” His stance on many key policy areas now reflects that of the Evangelical Christian lobby.
Many white evangelical Christians identify with America First policies and Trump's popular catchphrase "Make America Great Again" because it evokes feelings of "better times". These "times" refer, not to a concrete period, but to days when they felt heard.
As it stands, many evangelicals feel that their views are not represented in Washington and that the establishment panders to liberal views. They feel attacked by minorities and progressive policies which they do not identify with. This has made them feel left behind and displaced in the political arena.
Trump's promises to return their views to the centre stage appeal to them because they see themselves represented by his words and policies.
White evangelical Christians speak to Trump’s America First policy. As a demographic which is an important part of Trump’s base support, keeping them happy and pandering to their concerns has been crucial to his platform from his time as a candidate in the primaries back in 2016. Ensuring a high turnout from them may prove vital in the 2020 race.
[P1] White evangelical Christians feel forgotten by the mainstream.
[P2] Trump has promised to be their voice.