A study has revealed that although many self-identified Christians support Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, those who are regular church attendees are much less likely to support him.
Many Christians (and non-Christians) have been baffled by the significant support the oftentimes controversial billionaire businessman is garnering even within the Christian community. The new study by Barna Group may help to reveal why polls show that Christians support Trump though many committed Christians say hardly anyone in their church supports him.
Vox.com reports that a poll put out last month by the Barna Group, an evangelical firm that conducts some of the best religion polling in America, analyzed the results of the primaries from the standpoint of voters’ religious beliefs and practices.
The first thing the survey revealed was that Christian Republicans generally view Trump favorably. About 32 percent said they would vote for Trump in the primary, which is 13 percentage points above the second most popular candidate, Ted Cruz.
The second finding of the survey was that, of the subset of that group that has attended church in the past week, Cruz actually is ahead of Trump, 30 percentage points to 24 percentage points. In addition, more than a third of these voters have an unfavorable view of Trump.
Many church leaders have come out against Trump, such as author and pastor Max Lucado and pastor and radio show host Tony Beam.
Beam recalls discussing Trump on his radio show after the first Republican debate:
“I come and crack the microphone after that first debate. And I'm like, [giggling] Trump's done. This is it. He's really stepped in it now. And I'm plastered with people calling me telling me how glad they are the way Trump handled himself and that he won that debate. And I was stunned. I thought I was doing somebody else's talk show, that they had switched frequencies on me and not told me, and that I was actually doing a show from a different location. This is crazy. This is not who we are.”
Many others are also baffled at Trump’s popularity in the primaries, but the differentiation between those who identify as Christians and do not attend church and those who are regular church attendees helps to answer the question of from where support for Trump is coming.
Publication date: March 8, 2016