Donald Trump Praying at Cabinet Meeting" by the White House / Public Domain

Trump’s overtures struggle to register with religious voters

Sep 10, 2020

By Gabby Orr

He recently renewed his promise to end federal funding for Planned Parenthood. He drew bipartisan praise for brokering an agreement that’s expected to boost Israel’s influence in the Middle East. And he released an updated list of Supreme Court nominees on Wednesday.

But so far, President Donald Trump’s overtures to religious voters appear to be falling flat.

Months after worries first exploded inside the Trump campaign over his eroding support among white evangelicals and Roman Catholics, some of the president’s top religious allies are now in a panic — concerned that Joe Biden’s attentiveness to Christian voters, whom Democrats largely ignored in 2016, is having an impact where the president can least afford it.

One prominent evangelical leader close to the White House said Biden’s policy positions on abortion and religious freedom, which would normally spoil how some religious voters view the Democratic presidential nominee, have been overshadowed by the contrast between the former vice president’s palpable faith and Trump’s transactional view of religion. Another chided Trump for his “cold response” to the nationwide reckoning over systemic racism, claiming the president’s law-and-order messaging has given Biden an opening to connect with churchgoing Americans who are accustomed to calls for courage and justice.

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