Falwell Predicts Evangelicals Will Turn to Trump in Greater Numbers in 2020 Than 2016. I’m Not So Sure.

File Photo: U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump shakes hands with Jerry Falwell Jr. at a campaign rally in Council Bluffs, Iowa

Here is the latest from Breitbart:

“I think 83 percent of Evangelicals voted for him [in 2016], and I think in 2020 it’ll be an even higher percentage,” he explained.

Falwell Jr. went on, “Even Evangelicals were disillusioned by the moderate Republican administrations of the last few decades. They voted on social issues back in those days, and they finally realized that there was never really going to be any change on social issues, so they stopped voting on social issues, and instead now they vote on the same issues that all average Americans who supported Trump vote on: bringing jobs back to this country and fair trade deals.”

“I think it’s great what [Donald Trump] is doing on China,” continued Falwell Jr. “I admire a president willing to be able to take a hit. The economy will take a hit when he fights these trade wars, but he knows long-term that the benefit to America will be much greater than any hit we take in the short-term. We’re getting ripped off with these bad trade deals. I think Evangelicals see that.”

Falwell Jr. added, “[Evangelicals] see immigration as a big issue. They just gave up on voting on social issues because they’ve been betrayed by Republican administration after Republican administration. So they just quit, and they started voting on the same issues that working class Democrats and average Americans vote on, and it’s all the issues that Donald Trump ran on.”

Read the rest here.

I think the Lynchburg court evangelical is correct about immigration, but I am not sure he has captured the pulse of the entire pro-Trump conservative evangelical electorate if he thinks that they no longer vote on social issues.

While I am sure that there are white evangelicals who voted for Trump because of immigration and the economy, there is also a large pro-Trump evangelical voting bloc that is white, middle class, and doing relatively well economically.  They pulled the lever for Trump because they hated Hillary and believed Trump would appoint pro-life justices.  All of this is anecdotal, based on my visits to dozens of towns and cities during the Believe Me book tour, but this wing of pro-Trump evangelicals could make a difference in 2020.  What if they decide that Trump delivered on the Supreme Court with the appointments of Gorsuch and Kavanaugh and now it is time to get rid of him because his immoral baggage and disrespect for the rule of law is too much to bear.  Just a thought.

18 thoughts on “Falwell Predicts Evangelicals Will Turn to Trump in Greater Numbers in 2020 Than 2016. I’m Not So Sure.

  1. Saying that a higher percentage of evangelicals will vote for Trump does not equate to more evangelicals voting for Trump if the number of evangelicals decreases sufficiently.

    Like

  2. So Falwell seems to believe evangelicals agree more on politics then they agree on religion? That is a damning statement about the evangelical church. I also totally disagree with Falwell, but it tells me a lot about him.

    Like

  3. I’m afraid not. No, the passion to keep the US Supreme Court and courts at large conservative will transcend any misgivings they do have with the president. But they’re in for more disillusionment in the future, I’m supposing. Of course it is an inept Democratic Party which is in the picture as well, my opinion.

    Like

  4. I have been a Christian since 1978. I have voted overwhelmingly Republican. But I am a Christian who will not vote for Trump or any politician who chooses to attempt to ride his coattails. I doubt I will vote for the democratic candidate. I would rather be a non vote than make the mistake of voting for him again. It’s been a good lesson.
    As a Christian I will choose to step aside rather than do the hold my nose while voting thing.

    Like

  5. John,
    I concur with you on the high court picks. The two selections have cemented evangelical favor with Trump. The more astute observers among evangelicals (probably only a minority) see also that district and circuit court selections have been very positive for traditional values and principles. The evangelicals ought to be thanking Mitch McConnell as much as Donald Trump for that.

    With all of that being said, why would evangelicals abandon Trump in mid-stream? There is an opportunity to reshape the entire federal judiciary in a second term.

    Like

    • I wonder. A conservative position has been that we don’t legislate via the judiciary. I imagine the official line is we want “conservative” judges who will simply rule according to what the constitution says.
      I can’t help but sense a desire that their priority will be first to rule in line with the right wing/evangelical political agenda and we will figure how to say that is the constitutional position.

      Like

      • Of course this is the case, Jeff. This is kind of constitutional interpretation is as old as the republic. Jefferson and Madison were strict constructionists on the national bank in the 1790s, but they quickly changed their position in 1803 when it came to the Louisiana Purchase. Of course Hamilton and the Federalists did the same thing. Loose construction on the bank and strict on the LA Purchase.

        Like

  6. According to yesterday’s morning drive-time radio, Falwell also claimed that Trump’s first term should be extended to six years (by executive order?) to make up for the time lost to Persecution and “The Coup Attempt has FAILED!”

    This set off the morning drive-time host. Parts I remember:
    “It’s ALL Abortion to them!”
    “Night is Day, Down is Up, Black is White. If you prove black is black, That’s FAKE NEWS!”

    Like

  7. Falwell just made the case that Trump was so popular among Evangelicals because Evangelicals gave up on voting for God’s interests and started voting for their own interests. Did I get that right?

    Like

      • Overturning Roe v Wade and Evolution and putting Prayer back in schools, what else?

        No mention of HOMOSEXUALS(TM), but three out of four isn’t bad. Other than that, they’ve hit every talking point of the Christianese Culture War agenda.

        Surprised about Christians and Immigration, though. Being an Anglo in “Del Norte” (about 120 miles north of the Mexican border), feelings run HIGH on this issue here. But all over the country?

        Like

        • Mr Unicorn,
          I was trying to understand Falwell’s point. He seems to believe evangelicals stopped caring about these social issues you listed (which Falwell believed they were doing to serve God’s interests) and instead became solely interested in prosperity (serving their own interests).

          Like

        • Mx Unicorn,
          I was trying to understand Falwell’s point. He seems to believe evangelicals stopped caring about these social issues you listed (which Falwell believed they were doing to serve God’s interests) and instead became solely interested in prosperity (serving their own interests).

          Like

          • Alex,
            Prosperity within the country generally helps all classes. I hope you want to see people of all classes, races, religions, and political persuasions doing well. That desire has nothing to do with the crass prosperity theology which is justly vilified.

            Like

    • “Falwell just made the case that Trump was so popular among Evangelicals because Evangelicals gave up on voting for God’s interests and started voting for their own interests. Did I get that right?”

      Yeah sounds like you nailed it.

      I kind of hope Falwell is just projecting his own inner moral compromises and projecting them onto the people he leads, but either way it seems like a blind-leading-the-blind kind of situation.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s