Even More Baffling than Evangelical Support for Trump

That would be Roman Catholic support for Trump. Korey Maas explains:

In heavily evangelical South Carolina, where a third of evangelicals voted for Trump, Monmouth had 42 percent of Catholics doing the same. Beaufort County, the only majority-Catholic county in the state, went to Trump with 30 percent of the Republican vote. Exit polls from much more Catholic Massachusetts placed Trump’s support from Catholics at an incredible 53 percent, four points higher than his support among evangelicals there.

Nor are state polls the only means by which to measure support for Trump. The comparative data national opinion polls have generated is equally revealing. Calculating the net favorability of candidates (by subtracting “very unfavorable” proportions from “very favorable”), the Barna Group finds Trump’s net favorability among evangelicals at -38. Not only was it twice as high among Catholics, at only -19, but Catholics viewed Trump more favorably than did any other religious category Barna denominated. When the same poll specifically asked respondents to choose a preferred candidate, evangelicals named Ted Cruz. Catholics? The unrepentant, pro-Planned Parenthood, adulterous strip club owner.

Trump’s favorability among Catholics is further confirmed by the Pew Research Center, which finds 54 percent of Catholic Republicans claiming he would, if elected, be a good or great president. Cruz (52 percent) and Rubio (51 percent) polled almost as well, but no candidate surpassed Trump. . . .

Still there’s more. Catholic support for Trump appears unhindered even after his recent and very public spat with the pope. Trump described as “disgraceful” Pope Francis’ assertion that “this man is not a Christian if he has said things like that.” The “things” in question were Trump’s proposed immigration policies, not least the building of a wall along the border with Mexico. Yet Monmouth pollster Patrick Murray notes that, contrary to the pope himself, a “whopping 76 percent of Catholic Republicans said they favored building a wall across the Mexican border and 61 percent specifically said they approved of Trump’s immigration plan.”

Partly prompting the bewilderment about evangelicals backing Trump has been the fact that prominent evangelical leaders—from Al Mohler and Russell Moore to James Dobson and Max Lucado—have publicly criticized him. None, though, is to evangelicalism what the pope is to Catholicism. For Catholic voters to defy the Democratic Party machine is remarkable enough; but to defy both party and pope? For Trump? For the unrepentant, pro-Planned Parenthood, adulterous strip club owner?

So much certainty, so much unity, so much authority, so little wisdom.

22 thoughts on “Even More Baffling than Evangelical Support for Trump

  1. Things seem weird, but maybe I just don’t know America. Example: I didn’t know the president of Hillsdale, Larry Arnn, was such an apologist for Trump until I heard him on Hugh Hewitt’s programs a week or so ago.

    Without intending to be offensive, isn’t it reasonable to now conclude that this happening in part because the Republican party is a majority white party, in a majority white country, appealing to it’s angriest voters? (Note that I’m not referring to all people that would be classified white) I wonder why the Cuban background of two candidates has been brought up at times in a negative way. As for Ben Carson, can we agree he appealed to some because he is that black guy conservatives can refer to as a friend; he is the black friend you need in order to challenge racism accusations. To add to this, I’ve never seen so many anti-Semites come out and express themselves so openly for a candidate; I learned a new anti-Semite slur thanks to them.

    It’s hilarious that in Travis County, a similar but smaller scale version of the national Republican party is taking place. I first heard of Robert Morrow from John Oliver’s show; man, that Mr. Morrow’s language can only be played on HBO. Unfortunately for Travis County Republicans, Mr. Morrow was elected. The guy even refers to his nether regions like Trump.

    And just like Republicans at the national level with Trump, some have defended Morrow. One even remarked that he was defending Morrow because he helped in the fight to ammend the TX constitiution to define marriage between one man and one woman.


  2. What does Aristotle say that is more fundamental?

    Larry Arnn—Well, first of all, it’s, everything in life is like what I’m about to say. We have bodies like animals, and we have needs, and we feel pain, and we have pleasures, and we have to eat. And what animals do is they just follow instincts to solve their problems. But we are a very different kind of being, because even after we do a thing, we can regret it or even be embarrassed about it, or be proud of it. And those are a judgment we make separately from our interests. And we have to serve our interest, or we’ll die.


    Sure, free trade is good in theory, but in the real word, tariffs are a lot more fair in a zero-sum game, in which the more they get the less we have….


  3. I’m a Republican. I did not vote for Trump in the primary. I voted Kasich. I won’t vote for Trump in the general. I think I understand why evangelicals are voting for him in droves. I liken it to an abused spouse who decides to leave. She will hear the same old lies about how things will change. She will be made to feel guilty because she won’t forgive, think about her family or whatever reason her husband thinks he needs to come up with to manipulate her into staying. The thing is, she’s done. Nothing he will say is going to change it. So, Republicans have said whatever it takes to stay in office, counting on the idea that many of their constituents will believe it immoral to vote for a Democrat or someone like Trump. Maybe it is. It doesn’t matter. Registered Republicans have collectively snapped. They are getting away because the idea of staying is unbearable.


  4. I might be “baffling” for Maas, but doesn’t he realized that it is the same ethnic group. Anglo-Saxon Papist and WASP, want the same certainty, unity, authority, wall, cake, etc.


  5. Not that it’s much more than sport, but it seems both sides are hitting their poles. You’ve got an unabashed N.E. corridor socialist on one side and a New Yawk reality tv star playing pseudo fascist on the other. And isn’t Fox News staffed with a bunch of rad trad rc’s? Killing Jesus and all that jazz. Btw, having lived on both sides of this fence, there isn’t spitting distance between cons. rc’s and cons. evangies anymore, much to the chagrin of my yellow dog democrat, eye rolls and laughing at the baby blue three piece suit wearing Baptist preacher with slicked back hair in the tent, father.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. DGH, if Catholic social teaching, the Magisterium, PF ÍI and predictable, if not infallible, commentators like Michael Sean Winters have all identified globalization as the problem, isn’t Trump the solution? Many of the blue collar faithful who used to have high hourly wage jobs and can’t design web pages seem to have made that connection.


  7. Dan, why do you think they didn’t make that connection in 2012? I’m not confident that anyone can read the mind of this electorate — either Francis or Russell Moore.


  8. In 2012, nobody was promising to put 45% tariffs on imports. A former client of mine has opposed trade agreements since NAFTA. He is a Catholic and a Democrat, in fact a reasonably prominent one. Though deeply committed to Clinton, he is thrilled at how Trump has changed the debate on trade agreements. He can make a very persuasive case in Catholic social teaching terminology about how Trump is responding to what he sees as the cruelty of globalization. Not sure his Bishop (Los Angeles) would agree.☺

    Trump carried Tennessee and my County comfortably. The usually prominent local types were pretty much on the sidelines, a few made endorsements but they didn’t put on a full court press to turn out their people, which is what it takes to win a primary for state or local office around here. Or, at least, that is what it used to take. Most of the folks I am still in touch with (heavily weighted toward the GOP side) are resigned to losing in November.


  9. Dan, will economic nationalism save the people hurt by free trade agreements? If the economy is global, which it sure seems to be, how do you take your marbles and go home without suffering the consequences.


  10. That has always been my hang up with various and sundry anti-globalization arguments. OTOH, my friend would have a two-fold response (1) who ever voted for globalization? (2) US politics aren’t the only forces tearing at globalization, see EU identity crisis, among others things, so the world might be on the way to less globalization anyway. I think his second point is at least worth thinking about, as to his first point I keep reminding him that Bill Clinton was one of the great free traders of our lifetimes. He gets grumpy about that.


  11. I should add that NAFTA was ratified in Clinton’s first term, my former client and still friend supported Clinton for re-election, which explains his grumpiness.


  12. Italian Roman Catholics for Trump:

    Since the end of the Cold War, Catholicism in Italy has become one of the ways through which the ideological, political anti-Americanism of the twentieth century is still expressed. The fact is that for many Catholics—in Italy and elsewhere in Europe–the United States remains “the American empire” despite what appears to be its weakening role in global leadership. Trump thus comes as both antidote to and punishment for American hubris. Never mind, they say, that he is right on some things (international trade agreements, the Iran nuclear deal); he is payback for Obama’s use of American power.

    A prominent expression of this Catholic anti-Americanism is evident in a recent column from Italian journalist Fulvio Scaglione, an associate editor of the widely read Catholic magazine Famiglia Cristiana from 2000 to 2016. He blasted Obama’s foreign policy and wrote that “we have to root for Trump” because he could be the one able to dismantle “the system that governed the [United States] in the last few decades.” Scaglione also accused Obama of waging against Trump “a violent campaign without precedents in American history” through the tactical leak of unverified dossiers, in an attempt to prepare an early impeachment of the new president.

    Trump as unifier.


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