The founder and CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), Robert Jones, said on Wednesday that white evangelicals are attracted to President Trump because of his policies on immigration.
“What I think is going on is Trump’s emphasis on immigration, his anti-immigrant emphasis that has just hammered throughout the campaign, all the way through his presidency, goes to the big concern for white evangelicals,” Jones told Hill.TV’s Joe Concha on “What America’s Thinking.”
“I’ve started calling them, instead of values voters, I’ve started calling them nostalgia voters, who are looking back to this golden age where they were more of the demographic center of the country, and their values were more the center of the country,” he continued.
“Make American Great, the last word in that slogan ‘again,’ is probably the most powerful word in that slogan for white evangelicals,” he said.
For example, while a majority of mainline Protestants say they are opposed to laws that would block refugees from entering the U.S., white evangelicals appeared more split on the issue, according to PRRI.
A PRRI June survey found that 44 percent of white, evangelicals said they were in favor of the idea, while another 44 percent said they were opposed to it.
Democratic pollster Joel Benenson pointed to white, evangelical’s loyal support to the GOP as the main reason for them to support Trump.
“White, evangelicals have been the base of the Republican Party for more than a decade already. Probably closer to two decades. They are older, they are white, they are less likely to be college educated, and so they have been the base of the party,” Benenson said.
— Julia Manchester