Trump's evangelical approval dips, but remains high

Trump's evangelical approval dips, but remains high

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s approval rating among white evangelical Protestants remains high at 72 percent but has dropped 6 percentage points since April, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

Seventy-two percent of white evangelical Protestants said they approve of Trump’s handling of his job as commander in chief, according to the June survey, a decline from 78 percent recorded in April.

The survey also shows that Trump would capture the vote among white evangelicals by a significant margin over presumptive Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says Trump executive order is 'a reckless war on Social Security' Trump got into testy exchange with top GOP donor Adelson: report Blumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections MORE if the 2020 presidential election were held today.

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Eighty-two percent of white evangelicals said they would vote for Trump, compared to just 17 percent who said they would cast their ballots for the former vice president, according to the survey.

The group represents a key portion of Trump’s base of supporters. White evangelicals, who traditionally lean Republican, have remained strongly supportive of Trump throughout his tenure despite questions about his rhetoric and behavior potentially eroding their support.

Eighty-one percent of white evangelicals who voted in the 2016 election cast ballots for Trump and Vice President Pence, whereas Democrat Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBlumenthal calls for declassification of materials detailing Russian threat to US elections Hillary Clinton roasts NYT's Maureen Dowd over column Hillary Clinton touts student suspended over crowded hallway photo: 'John Lewis would be proud' MORE captured 16 percent of their votes.

Trump’s approval rating remains high among white evangelicals despite his recent photo opportunity outside St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., amid protests after George Floyd's death, an appearance that was laced with controversy and prompted criticism from some local religious leaders.

Trump’s reelection campaign has made an effort to court evangelical voters, including by launching an “Evangelicals for Trump” coalition at the beginning of the year. Trump’s 200 judicial appointments — a milestone he hit last week — are also viewed as a signature accomplishment that will excite religious conservatives.

The new Pew survey of 4,708 U.S. adults was conducted between June 16 and June 22.