How did the court evangelicals respond to last night’s debate?

They loved it, of course.

Let’s begin, one more time, with American religious historian Grant Wacker from his biography of Billy Graham:

The crucial point is that Graham continued to defend Nixon long after most Americans smelled a rat. When the first hint of something amiss came to light in 1972, Graham dismissed it as pettifogery.

As I noted in an earlier post today, Ralph Reed said that he condemned Trump’s policy of separating children from parents, but Tony Perkins wants to talk about cages. Hey Tony, there are 545 kids without parents and you want to talk about who built the cages?:

The oil industry pollutes. Tony Perkins mocks alternative forms of energy:

You can tell Perkins is getting desperate late in the election. He is condemning Biden for not meeting with a North Korean murderer and dictator. This is really getting sad.

Perkins mocks mask-wearing and claims that Biden is actually the candidate who “covers things up.”

If Napp Nazworth’s reporting is correct, Johnnie Moore, the guy who claims to be a “modern day Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is probably on the phone right now with The Christian Post asking them to do a piece on how Trump won the debate.

Like Tony Perkins, Ralph Reed tweets Biden’s comments on fossil fuel and the oil industry as if reducing our reliance on these things is a bad thing:

The same goes for Charlie Kirk:

It seems like the court evangelicals are divided over the performance of moderator Kristen Welker:

I can no longer write about Robert Jeffress without thinking about fellow court evangelical Richard Land’s line: “the most dangerous place in Texas to stand is between Jeffress and a television camera.” Expect Jefferss to repeat this tweet on Fox News with Lou Dobbs tonight:

And here is the Liberty University Falkirk Center crowd:

This weekend Charlie Kirk will be bringing this to an evangelical megachurch near you:

“No rational American believes this”:

No rational American believes this:

Again, these court evangelicals try to deflect from the fact that 545 kids don’t have parents by focusing on the construction of the cages. Where is the empathy and compassion among these evangelical Christians affiliated with Liberty University:

I just wanted to get this on the record. It was tweeted at a moment when COVID-19 is surging again:

Tonight’s debate

Here are some thoughts on the final debate of the 2020 presidential campaign.

On the format:

The mute button definitely worked. Kristen Welker did a solid job as moderator. Trump was under control. He started-out very mellow:

Symbols are important, especially in a pandemic:

This is continues to be the essence of Trump’s approach to the coronavirus:

I have no idea what Trump meant when he criticized Biden for “selling pillows and sheets”:

Trump focused on Hunter Biden’s laptop, Burisma, and Biden’s houses (he owns two). No one cares unless you watch Fox News:

Seth Cotlar gets it right:

When Trump attacked Biden’s family, Biden did not get into the mud. (There is a lot of material about the Trump family he could have used). Instead, he appealed to American families:

When Biden talked about American families and their “dinner table” concerns, Trump accused him of being a “typical politician.”:

Trump kept pushing lies about Biden’s positions on health care and fracking.

In one the better moments of the debate, Biden said that Trump was confused about the identity of his opponent in this election. Biden won the Democratic primary against the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren who did favor socialized medicine. He reminded the viewers who Trump was running against:

The moderator, Kristen Welker, asked Trump about how his administration lost the parents of 545 immigrant children. Trump claimed that they were brought to the country by “coyotes.” Biden pushed back hard, saying that these children came to the United States with their parents and they were separated.

As a side note, I had interesting exchange on Twitter with court evangelical and GOP operative Ralph Reed:

I am not holding my breath about Reed’s decision to revisit this issue 10 days before an election.

Welker asked Biden and Trump about “the talk” that African-American parents give their children about the dangers they will face in a racist society. Bruce Springsteen summarized this well in his song “American Skin”:

Here is the lyric:

41 shots, Lena gets her son ready for school
She says, “On these streets, Charles
You’ve got to understand the rules
If an officer stops you, promise me you’ll always be polite
And that you’ll never ever run away
Promise Mama you’ll keep your hands in sight”

Biden responded to this question with a clear statement about systemic racism, lamenting that such a “talk” is necessary in the United States of America. Trump never answered the question. Instead he said this:

Trump claimed he was the “least racist” person in the room, but he couldn’t be entirely sure about this claim because the lights were too bright and he was unable to see everyone in the room:

Trump then went after Biden for role in drafting the 1994 Crime Bill. This bill was controversial because critics said it increased incarceration in an attempt to stop crime. It led to more prison sentences and aggressive policing that hurt people of color who are disproportionately likely to be incarcerated.

Biden has said that his support of the 1994 bill was a mistake and he regrets it. He said the same thing last night. But what confuses me is why Trump always criticizes him on this front. Wouldn’t a “law and order” president like Trump who does not believe in systemic racism be in favor of such a bill?

New York Times columnist David Brooks weighed-in on the debate:

Biden said that he wanted to phase out the oil industry because it is bad for the environment. Trump implied that Biden’s statement alienated people in Texas, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, and Ohio. Perhaps it did, but Biden stood his ground. Historian Andrew Wehrman put it succinctly:

Biden’s claim to be the president of all Americans reminded me of Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address:

Trump did fine. As CNN’s Dana Bash put it, the “bar was very low” for Trump and he managed to clear it.

Biden did fine as well. He had some nice moments.

I don’t think the debate changed much, especially since Trump is probably going to stay some more stupid stuff tomorrow and everyone will forget about last night’s debate.

*The Atlantic*: “One is a terrible man; the other is a decent man. Vote for the decent man”

The Atlantic endorses Joe Biden:

When contemplating their ballots, Americans should ask which candidate in a presidential contest is better equipped to guide the United States through a national-security crisis without triggering a nuclear exchange, and which candidate is better equipped to interpret—within five or seven minutes—the ambiguous, complicated, and contradictory signals that could suggest an imminent nuclear attack. These are certainly not questions that large numbers of voters asked themselves in 2016, when a transparently unqualified candidate for president won the support of 63 million Americans.

At the time, Donald Trump had not yet served in public office, so concerns about his ability to protect the United States from harm were hypothetical, though grounded in his long and terrible record as a human being. As The Atlantic stated in its October 2016 endorsement of his opponent, Hillary Clinton, Trump “traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself … He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.”

What we have learned since we published that editorial is that we understated our case. Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever. Trump has brought our country low; he has divided our people; he has pitted race against race; he has corrupted our democracy; he has shown contempt for American ideals; he has made cruelty a sacrament; he has provided comfort to propagators of hate; he has abandoned America’s allies; he has aligned himself with dictators; he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence; he has undermined the agencies and departments of government; he has despoiled the environment; he has opposed free speech; he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism; he has stolen children from their parents; he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power; and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus. Trump is not responsible for all of the 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths in America. But through his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.

Read the entire endorsement here.

More Jerushah!

Billy Graham’s granddaughter Jerushah Duford is making some waves in this election cycle. She is the topic of Nicholas Kristof’s New York Times column today. A taste:

A granddaughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, Jerushah Duford is a committed evangelical Christian who describes herself as “pro-life.”

For most of her life, she voted Republican. Yet this year, she is voting for Joe Biden and is encouraging fellow Christians to distance themselves from a president who she says is trying “to hijack our faith for votes.”

“The Jesus we serve promotes kindness, dignity, humility, and this president doesn’t represent our faith,” Duford said.

She made clear to me that she is not speaking for her grandfather, the famous evangelist who died in 2018. But she added: “I think he would be sad. I think his greatest desire had nothing to do with policies but to introduce people to a loving Jesus, and the division this administration has caused I believe has hurt this effort.”

Read the rest here.

Former Republican National Committee Chair endorses Joe Biden

Michael Steele, the first African American to serve as chairman of the RNC, endorsed Biden today. Here is CNN:

“Many of Donald Trump’s supporters bring legitimate concerns to the table. During my time leading the GOP, I endeavored to address these and other grievances through the lens of unity and growth. But Trump has energized the party through the exact opposite means — by focusing on stoking division and eroding our core principles,” Steele said in a statement issued by the Lincoln Project.

“Although Vice President Biden and I disagree on some policy points, I believe he will earnestly pursue options that work towards healing the divide exacerbated by Trump and his administration,” Steele added. “My support for Biden is because we share an everlasting loyalty to what is ultimately best for our nation.”

Read the entire piece here.

Are you voting for Trump because of abortion? Do you refuse to vote for Biden because of abortion? If so, please watch this video.

Every day I hear from evangelical Christians who despise Donald Trump for what he has done to our country, but will still vote for him in November because he claims to oppose abortion.

I also hear regularly from evangelical Christians who refuse to vote for Trump, but also refuse to vote for Biden because he is pro-choice.

If you are in either of these camps, I encourage you to watch this video.

Here is Phil Vischer (of Veggie Tales fame) and Skye Jethani of the Holy Post Podcast.

Recent presidential election polls

Two more weeks until the election. Here are the current polls in what Real Clear Politics define as “battleground states”:

Florida: Biden up 1.4% (Trump won by 1.2% in 2016)

Pennsylvania: Biden up 3.8% (Trump won by 0.7% in 2016)

Wisconsin: Biden up 6.2% (Trump won by 0.7% in 2016)

North Carolina: Biden up 2.7 % (Trump won by 3.6 in 2016)

Michigan: Biden up 7.3% (Trump won by 0.3% in 2016)

Ohio: Trump up 0.5% (Trump won by 8.1% in 2016)

Minnesota: Biden up 6.6% (Clinton won by 1.5% in 2016)

Iowa: Biden up 1.2% (Trump won by 9.4% in 2016)

Arizona: Biden up 3.1% (Trump won by 3.5% in 2016)

Nevada: Biden up 5.2% (Clinton won by 2.4% in 2016)

Texas: Trump up 4.4% (Trump won by 9% in 2016)

Georgia: Biden up 0.9% (Trump won by 5.1% in 2016)

Virginia: Biden up 11.4% (Clinton won by 5.4% in 2016)

New Hampshire: Biden up 11% (Clinton won by 0.3% in 2016)

Maine: Biden up 11% (Clinton won by 2.9% in 2016)

Colorado: Biden up 9.5% (Clinton won by 4.9% in 2016)

New Mexico: Biden up 14.5 (Clinton by 8.3 in 2016)

Trump mocks Biden for “listening to the scientists”

And there it is.

How dare Biden listen to the scientists!! 😉

Even worse, if Biden is elected, Christmas will be canceled:

Trump went to church this morning

Trump visited the International Church of Las Vegas in Nevada.

It looks like the focus of the service was on Jesus. 😉

It looks like Trump dropped a wad of $20.00 bills into the offering bucket.

Here is some live-tweeting from Religion News Service reporter Jack Jenkins:

Here is coverage of the event from the Associated Press:

With Trump seated in the front row at the nondenominational International Church of Las Vegas, the senior associate pastor, Denise Goulet, said God told her the president is the apple of his eye and would secure a second term.

“At 4:30, the Lord said to me, ‘I am going to give your president a second win,’” she said, telling Trump, “you will be the president again.”

Trump offered brief remarks, saying “I love going to churches” and that it was “a great honor” to attend the service. The president also said that “we have a group on the other side that doesn’t agree with us,” and he urged people to “get out there on Nov. 3 or sooner” to vote. He dropped a wad of $20 bills in the collection plate before leaving.

Despite the pandemic, there were no efforts to social distance or limit singing, which health officials classify as a high-risk activity. Few attendees wore masks inside the church.

Read the rest here.

Here comes Obama

He will hit the trail for Biden “soon.” Here is ABC News:

Former President Barack Obama is expected to hit the campaign trail “soon” for Joe Biden, his former vice president — a move that could help animate Democrats as the presidential race enters its pivotal final weeks.

“President Obama plans to hit the trail soon, in addition to all the other activities he’s undertaken all year in support of electing VP Biden – as he’s said, we all have to do everything we can to win on November 3,” an aide to the former president told ABC News.

Read the rest here.

The Democrats just released this video:

Andrew Sullivan is “dreaming of a landslide”

“I know I’m tempting fate,” writes Sullivan, “but a landslide is what this country so desperately needs.” Here is a taste of the conservative writer’s recent post at his SubStack site:

I know it’s tempting fate to mention the idea, foolish to entertain it, mad to expect it, but the possibility of a landslide is now real. There are about ten points between the two candidates with three weeks to go, and the momentum is overwhelmingly with the challenger. Among the likeliest scenarios in 538’s poll of polls is now a Biden Electoral College victory of over 400. Texas is in play. The Harris-Pence debate changed nothing, but firmly established Harris’ credentials as a possible president.

And all this changes a huge amount. A Biden win would be a reprieve for the country; a Biden landslide would be an American miracle. 

Unlike anything else, it would cauterize the wound of Trump, preventing further infection. It would say to posterity: we made this hideous mistake, for understandable reasons, but after four years, we saw what we did and decisively changed course. It would turn the Trump era of nihilism, tribalism and cruelty into a cautionary tale of extremism, illiberalism and, above all, failure. It would suggest, especially if older whites come round some more, that the future need not be one of spiraling racial polarization, but of multiracial support for liberal democracy, its norms, and practices. What you learn from studying the decline and collapse of republics is that illiberal precedents become the new baseline if they are not instantly repudiated and punished. A landslide loss for Trump would mitigate, if not remove, the deep damage he has done. 

Think of the last two defeated one-term presidents. Jimmy Carter and especially George H W Bush don’t seem so terrible in retrospect, but Carter’s devastating loss to Reagan haunted the Democratic psyche for decades. Bush’s loss to Clinton, in turn, solidified the hard right’s control of the GOP from Gingrich through to Trump. These defeats can impress on the partisan psyche more deeply than Congressional reversals. And the simple story line — reality-defying showman gets hit by viral reality — now has the devastating symbol of the White House itself as a Covid19 hotspot worse than anywhere else in DC. It’s a crude morality tale that’s very hard to resist.

A landslide would also do something important for an incoming Biden administration: it would present a real opportunity to pursue a policy of national reconciliation around Covid19 recovery and economic stimulus. It would buttress Biden’s hopes for bipartisan support, even if of a limited kind, in a genuine emergency. 

Read the entire piece here.

Biden at Gettysburg

Joe Biden was in Gettysburg on Monday and he gave a pretty good speech. Watch:

Let’s remember again that Lincoln’s call for unity and healing and the binding of wounds came after the Confederacy was all but defeated.

Biden is calling for a robust center and the marginalization of the extremes. The center must push leftward and rightward until the extremists fall off the grid on both ends. If this does not happen, American democracy does not survive.

Here is The New York Times coverage of the speech.

Why don’t white evangelicals vote for Democrats?

Historian Daniel Williams, in a thought-provoking piece at The Anxious Bench, asks:

Why have white evangelicals been so antipathetic to Democrats, even before their disagreements with Democrats over abortion or LGBT issues emerged?  And can anything ever convince them to support a Democratic presidential candidate?

And here is part of his answer:

I am convinced that as far as evangelicalism is concerned, there are deeply rooted theological and cultural reasons for white evangelicals’ rejection of the Democratic Party.  In other words, white evangelicals who vote Republican really are acting consistently with their own theological worldview, as can be seen in at least three areas where evangelical theology has clashed with liberal Protestantism and, by extension, with a Democratic Party that is today a largely secularized form of liberal Protestant theology.

Here are the three areas Williams identifies:

  1. White evangelical commitment to individualism means that they do not except political policies that address systemic or structure inequity.
  2. White evangelicals are suspicious of the state.
  3. White evangelicals do not view inequality as a social problem

I totally agree with Williams’s assessment here.

But then, if I read him correctly, Williams suggests that the “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden” movement embodies these ideals as well.

He writes:

Trump, they argue, is not a moral leader for the nation.  His racially charged rhetoric is dividing the church and making Christian racial reconciliation more difficult.  While the website for Pro-Life Evangelicals does note some areas in which pro-life Christians should support the policies of the Democratic Party (except, of course, on abortion), the explanations given by leading evangelical pastors as to why they joined the group focus much more on familiar evangelical arguments about individual character than on policy proposals.  “I’ve never seen someone so divisive and accusatory,” Joel Hunter, who voted for Trump in 2016 and now regrets it, declared. “We’re becoming divided and angry, and it’s the opposite of pro-life.”

In other words, the argument of many members of Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden is that in a world of imperfect political choices, the Democratic presidential nominee this time around would be better than the Republican incumbent for the cause of the gospel.  Whether a majority of white evangelical voters will accept this argument and vote Democratic is highly doubtful.  But even if they don’t, it’s hard to imagine an argument that has a greater claim to being authentically evangelical.  If any argument could conceivably convince white evangelicals who genuinely believe in their own theological tradition to consider breaking with the Republican Party in this election, an argument about individual moral leadership and the cause of the gospel is the one that should.

This is a fair critique of the statement on the Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden website, but I am not sure it accurately describes the positions of the men and women who signed this statement.

  1. I don’t know the policy positions of all of the signers, but John Perkins, Ron Sider, and Richard Mouw certainly believe in systemic injustice.
  2. I don’t think any of the signers of the statement are suspicious of the state.
  3. I would imagine everyone who signed this statement believes that inequality is a social problem.

Read Williams’s entire piece here.

An 88-year-old evangelical woman will cast her first vote for a Democrat in November

Yesterday I received this note from a reader. Agree or disagree, it is worth reading. I know there are a lot of evangelicals who will resonate with this.

I’ve often heard that posting things on Facebook isn’t real activism and that people are never changed by what they read there. I have a great story that suggests that’s not true. My 88-year-young mother is a life-long, die hard Republican. She has NEVER voted for a Democrat, ever. As a devout, sincere conservative Evangelical Christian, she voted for Trump in 2016 because the leadership voices within that community told her she should, and she trusted them. She had almost immediate buyer’s remorse when Trump was elected and she saw what he was really like. She has since registered as an Independent and began educating herself politically by reading, watching YouTube videos, news of various stripes (she had never been a Fox News watcher nor very politically involved) and by thinking for herself.

For my mom, the thing that was always a firm barrier to voting for a Democrat was the issue of abortion. We had discussed how there were a spectrum of positions one rarely hears about, from self-described “pro-life” Democrats, to people who believe that abortion is undesirable, while yet wanting to support women and their choices. Within this latter group many want to focus on reducing the total number of abortions and to support policies that aim toward this end, but do not believe that simply criminalizing abortion is the answer. They want to work toward having a more compassionate society overall, understanding pragmatically how criminalizing abortion would have negative unintended consequences and might even invite organized crime, much as Prohibition did. In the last few weeks my mother and I had some heart-felt and thoughtful discussions about these issues in a way it is often difficult to talk about this polarized, hot-button topic.

Surprisingly, this week my mother announced she has decided to vote for Biden! This was a seismic shift. But she showed me a viral Facebook post that “helped cement her decision” to give her vote to Biden instead of voting for Trump again or abstaining because of the abortion issue. When I mentioned this story in a comment here recently, a couple of people said her story and the post she read that made sense to her might be helpful to other people they knew too. So I have included it below. Note that this piece is written by an Evangelical Christian to others who are also Evangelicals or conservative Christians, but it addresses their concerns about abortion and morality with empathy and from within a frame of reference they fully understand and respect. So well written, respectful and thoughtful Facebook posts really can make a difference. It’s nice to know there is some good news out there!

Here is the Facebook post that convinced this woman’s mother to vote for Biden. It is written by a woman named Jennifer Abel:

I have felt a heaviness in my soul lately.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve felt it. A weight. The heaviness. So this morning—when a block of time unexpectedly opened in my schedule, I closed myself in my room, read some of John’s gospel, opened my journal, and prayed, “OK, God. What is it? My heart feels heavy. I need to write. But I don’t have words. What is this feeling?”

And I began to write—Heartbreak. It’s heartbreak. And disillusionment. I’ve been here before—so many times before since 2016. And here I am again.

I keep seeing Christians say they can’t vote for Joe Biden because of his stance on abortion. I’ve seen Christians proudly state they are single-voter issues – it all comes down to abortion. So they’ll vote for Trump. Because he promises to appoint Supreme Court Justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s the one and only thing that matters.

But why? Why is that the one and only thing that matters?

Is that the one and only thing that matters to Jesus? Reading through the Bible, I would say unequivocally “NO.” What does the Bible say directly about abortion? And I ask this from my pro-life heart. The Bible has FAR, FAR more to say about pride, about abusing power to mistreat the poor, about lying, about treating others with hatred, about humility, about seeking forgiveness, about faithfulness — about ALL of that than it does about abortion.

So, Christians, why are you so willing to toss all of those morals aside? Why are you so willing to turn a blind eye to so many behaviors that are completely, blatantly in opposition to the heart and character of Christ?

When I read about Joe Biden’s stance on abortion, I see a man who has wrestled with his faith. I see a man whose heart wants no abortions and who has struggled throughout his years in public service to determine the best way to accomplish that. Is it by making abortion illegal? (At one point, he said “yes.”) Is it by prohibiting government funding of abortion? (At one point, he said “yes.”) Or is it by supporting public policies that make abortion rates decline? (This seems to be where he’s landed.)

This personal wrestling resonates with me. I have had those same wrestling matches within myself.

Did you know – between 1981 and 2016, the sharpest decline in abortion rates occurred under Democratic Presidents – not under Republican Presidents. The rates especially dropped under the leadership of President Obama and continued to decline after he left office. Most everyone agrees the reason for this is because access to contraception is key in preventing pregnancies. And under the Affordable Care Act, contraception coverage became more widespread. Even though some states enacted new abortion restrictions between 2011 and 2017, by 2017 57% of the nationwide decline occurred in states that had not enacted new abortion restrictions. So there is evidence that pursuing legal action isn’t necessary (or effective) to reduce the amount of abortions.

I am pro-life. I would like to see zero abortions. I also want to honor and value the lives of women who find themselves in the position of considering abortion. Those lives also matter to me. So I don’t believe criminalizing the choice is the best way to truly help those women. I think public policies that offer help and hope — financial and medical – are the best ways to reduce abortions.

Therefore, I need to find political candidates who will support programs that help the women who are most likely to feel that abortion is their only option, candidates who support making effective contraception affordable and accessible to everyone.

I also want a candidate who values all life. Refugees’ lives. Women’s lives. Black lives. Poor lives. Lives during a pandemic. The lives of people who disagree with him.

You see, when you say you’re voting for Trump because you’re pro-life, I can’t take you seriously. Because Trump has not proven himself to value lives. For the love! – read his Twitter and show me how this man values life.

When you say you can’t vote for Biden because of your Christian beliefs, I can’t take you seriously. Because again and again and again, Donald Trump’s words and actions fly in direct contradiction to the character of Christ.

For the past four years, I’ve been so disillusioned and heartbroken and sad to see so many Christians abandon their morals and contort their beliefs in order to justify their support of someone who so obviously violates every moral and value I was taught in the Church.

Somewhere along the line, political masterminds decided that evangelical Christians could be manipulated into believing abortion and gay marriage are the only two things God cares about.

Friends, that is a lie. You have been hoodwinked.

Obviously, you don’t have to vote for Joe Biden. But you can’t use our Jesus and the Bible to defend your support of Donald Trump.

The new CNN poll is damning for Trump

We still have four weeks go, but if this poll holds up, Biden will win in a blow-out. Here are a few things that caught my eye:

Nationally, Biden leads 57% to 41%.

48% of Americans approve of how Trump is handling the economy. 48% disapprove.

38% of Americans approve of how Trump is handling election security. 55% disapprove.

39% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Trump. 55% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Trump.

52% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Biden. 42% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Biden.

38% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Mike Pence. 49% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Pence. 6% of Americans have “never heard of” Mike Pence.

47% of Americans have a favorable opinion of Kamala Harris. 36% of Americans have an unfavorable opinion of Harris. 9% of Americans have “never heard of” Kamala Harris.

Likely voters believe that Biden is better than Trump on the economy (50-48), coronavirus (59-38), health care (59-39), racial equality (62-36), Supreme Court nominations (57-41), and crime and safety (55-43).

Voters think Biden cares about them more than Trump (58-38), is better suited to unite the country than Trump (61-33), has a better plan to solve American problems than Trump (55-39), will keep them safer than Trump (55-43), and is more trustworthy than Trump (58-33).

58% of Americans who watched the first presidential debate thought Biden won it. 27% thought Trump won the first presidential debate. 13% said that “neither of them did well.”

Read the entire poll here.

And as long as we are doing polls, here are the latest Real Clear Politics poll averages from the major battleground states.

Wisconsin: Biden is up 5.6% (Trump won by 0.7% in 2016)

Florida: Biden is up 3.5% (Trump won by 1.2% in 2016)

Michigan: Biden is up 6.2% (Trump won by 0.3% in 2016)

North Carolina: Biden is up 1.4% (Trump won by 3.6% in 2016)

Arizona: Biden is up 3.4% (Trump won by 3.5% in 2016)

Minnesota: Biden is up 9.4% (Clinton won by 1.5% in 2016)

Ohio: Biden is up 1.2% (Trump won by 8.1% in 2016)

Iowa: Biden is up 0.5% (Trump won by 9.4% in 2016)

Nevada: Biden is up 5.3% (Clinton won by 2.4% in 2016)

New Hampshire: Biden is up 8.4% (Clinton won by 0.3 in 2016)

Maine: Biden is up 12.8% (Clinton won by 2.9% in 2016)

Virginia: Biden is up 11% (Clinton won by 5.4% in 2016)

Georgia: Biden is up 0.3% (Trump won by 5.1% in 2016)

Texas: Trump is up 3.2% (Trump won by 9 in 2016)

Colorado: Biden is up 10% (Clinton won by 4.9% in 2016)

New Mexico: Biden is up 14.5 (Clinton won by 8.3% in 2016)

Three former evangelical seminary presidents now support “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden”

According to Ron Sider’s recent blog post, over 2000 people have signed-on to the website “Pro-Life Evangelicals for Biden.” Three former evangelical seminary presidents support the statement:

Richard Mouw, Fuller Theological Seminary

Dennis Hollinger, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

Samuel T. Logan, Westminster Theological Seminary

Those are some pretty heavy-hitters in the evangelical world.

Sarah Pulliam Bailey’s piece at The Washington Post notes that Richard Nixon’s former pastor has also signed the statement.