Evangelicals have become a political group, progressive strategist says

Progressive strategist Ruy Teixeira said in an interview that aired Thursday on Hill.TV that evangelical voters have become their own political group in the years since President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE campaigned for and won the presidency. 

"Not only is it possible, it's already happened," Teixeira, author of "The Optimistic Leftist," told Hill.TV's Jamal Simmons on "What America's Thinking." 

"If you were going to vote strictly on the basis of the view of your proper morality for a Christian gentleman or gentlewoman, I don't think you would have supported Trump at the level that they did in 2016. They are in that sense pragmatic and political," he continued.

"They want a guy who's going to deliver to them what they're interested in, and it's going to be a lot better than the other side. So in that sense, yes, it's very political," Teixeira added. 

Evangelicals have seen their political influence rise during the Trump administration, as the group has managed to capture his attention on various issues. 

Trump has seen his stock rise among white evangelicals, in part, because of his close relationship with Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., one of Trump's most outspoken evangelical supporters. 

Trump saw more than 80 percent support among white evangelicals in the 2016 election. A Pew Research Center survey released in March found that 69 percent of white, evangelical Protestants said they approved of the president's job in office. 

— Julia Manchester