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Eye On Candidates
October 12, 2016

Trump’s base shows cracks

Republican candidates for president have typically received substantial support from the evangelical community. As a result of recently unearthed controversial comments, Donald Trump is in danger of losing support from at least the female half of that demographic, at least according to a Politico article this morning:

How Long Can Evangelical Woman Stay Behind Donald Trump?

Over the weekend, as Donald Trump’s sexually aggressive comments on a leaked tape blew up the news cycle and threatened to sink his candidacy, a bulwark of support emerged among male evangelical leaders. Prominent evangelicals like Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell Jr. and Robert Jeffress have all doubled down their support for the GOP nominee.

In the past, it might have been taken for granted that this meant the evangelical constituency would fall in line.

Not this time. On Sunday, Beth Moore, a popular speaker and Bible study author whose books have been New York Times best-sellers, spoke out about Trump and against these male evangelical leaders, tweeting, “Try to absorb how acceptable the disesteem and objectifying of women has been when some Christian leaders don’t think it’s that big a deal.” Moore, who is very popular in conservative Christian circles, usually refrains from getting involved in politics. But her take reflected an argument breaking out with renewed force among evangelical women—especially younger ones—about whether it’s really possible to support a man who writes off bragging about sexual assault as “locker room talk,” as he did in Sunday night’s debate.

It will likely take a few more days for polling to fully capture any mass defection from Trump, but if evangelical women amounting to even a few percentage points opt for another candidate or to just leave the presidential line blank on their ballots, a candidate with already slim chances of being elected will almost certainly find himself in an even bigger hole.