Social Conservative leaders who have demanded “holier than thou” candidates for decades are being thrown for a loop by the popularity of presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Evangelicals who align with anti-establishment voters are looking for drastic change in elected leaders and the appeal of candidates such as Ted Cruz is seen as insincere, vote getting by in-the-know voters.
Ben Carson, who was the champion of this base early on has dropped faster than any other candidate in the 2016 race and now is polling at 8%.
Carson’s supporters have split evenly between Trump and Cruz . . . both candidates receiving a ten-point bump in the polls.
John Juvenal, a 67 year-old lifeline Republican told the New York Times about Trump, “He is the only one who can pull us back from the abyss.”
Another evangelical voter, Buford Arning from North Carolina, told the publication, “His personal life is saint-like compared to Bill Clinton’s.”
On the dirty side of politics, Cruz supporters along with Clinton supporters have attempted to diminish Trump in the eyes of evangelicals by bringing up his multiple marriages and personal indiscretions.
The attacks have not stuck, possibly due to forgiveness being a virtue of Christianity.
Similar attacks were lodged against Ronald Reagan during his presidential run due to his failed marriage with Jane Wyman. Reagan also conceived a child, Patti, with Nancy Davis before they were married.
Those attacks failed to resonate with Reagan and are being brushed aside 35 years later with Trump.
Despite Trump’s imperfect personal life, evangelical voters appear to be ready for a change and find an authentic argument with Trump.