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A new poll finds that a majority of Republican voters view Trump as "a person of faith."
A Deseret News/Harris X poll found that few of Trump's 2024 primary foes are viewed in the same light.
GOP voters are also deeply skeptical of President Joe Biden's faith.
A majority of Republican voters view former President Donald Trump as a person of faith, more than just about every other 2024 primary foe, according to a new poll.
A Deseret News/Harris X poll found that 53% of registered Republican voters said they found Trump to be a man of faith. Roughly the same percentage voters view former Vice President Mike Pence (52%) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (47%) the same way, though the poll has a 5.5 percentage point margin of error among GOP so it isn't especially possible to compare these.
That said, Pence famously says he's "a Christian, conservative, and Republican in that order" — even some of his insults are rooted in Bible verses.
Some Evangelical leaders have long said that Trump's three divorces and general approach to much of his early adult life should not count against his piousness. The former president is also facing a criminal indictment in New York related to claims stemming from his alleged affair with adult film actress Stormy Daniel's. Trump has denied her allegations.
"Yes, evangelicals, conservatives, they gave him a mulligan," Tony Perkins, the president of the conservative Family Research Council, told CNN in 2018. "They let him have a do-over. They said we'll start afresh with you and we'll give you a second chance."
Before his election, Trump also rather flippantly described the process of Holy Communion, describing it as "When I drink my little wine ... and have my little cracker." The future president also seemed perplexed when asked if he ever asked God for forgiveness.
"I am not sure I have. I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don't think so," Trump told moderator Frank Luntz during a 2015 event for an Iowa evangelicals group when asked about asking God for forgiveness. "I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don't bring God into that picture. I don't."
Many on the evangelical right and other faith voters have embraced Trump due to his policies and judicial appointments. Thanks to Trump, anti-abortion activists realized their decades-long dream of overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision and decades of precedents that had protected national abortion rights.
Trump also pushed for tax-exempt churches to be more politically active, tightly embraced Benjamin Netanyahu's leadership of Israel, and banned transgender Americans from serving in the Armed forces. To various degrees, all of those policies have been advocated by faith-based political organizations.
Republican voters are far more skeptical of President Joe Biden, an observant Catholic who speaks openly of his faith and attends religious services at a clip far outpacing his predecessors. According to the poll, just 23% of Republicans say Biden is a person of faith and only 12% said the same of Vice President Kamala Harris.
The poll also asked GOP voters about Sen. Mitt Romney, who voted to convict Trump on charges in both of his historic impeachment trials. Just 35%, view Romney as a man of faith. Romney cited his Mormon faith as part of the reason he was the only Republican to vote to convict Trump in his first impeachment trial for improperly pressuring the Ukrainian government to investigate the Bidens.
Faith-based voters are a key demographic in the modern Republican Party. White evangelicals are also a major force in the Iowa caucuses, the first election that will kick off the 2024 GOP primary process in less than four months.
The poll was conducted conducted from Sept. 8-11, among 1,002 registered voters. It has a =/- 5.5 percentage point margin of error for its smaller sub-sample of registered Republican voters.
Read the original article on Business Insider