Close to two-thirds of white evangelicals say that President Donald Trump is "honest" and "morally upstanding," a new poll shows.
The Pew Research Center survey found that white evangelicals are the most likely to describe Trump in those terms, putting them far out of line with the rest of Americans. While the assessment of Trump was not whole-hearted -- just 15 percent of white evangelicals say that the term "morally upstanding" describes President Trump "very well" while another 45 percent said it applies to him "fairly well" -- the results were nearly twice as high as U.S. adults as a whole.
The poll also found that close to two-thirds of white evangelicals say Trump is "somewhat religious" despite the president not regularly attending church services.
As NPR noted in its analysis of the poll, the high marks among the religious group could have some other motivations.
"One explanation for white evangelicals' attachment to Trump is that they see him as a political ally," the report noted. "The Pew survey found that 63% of white evangelical Protestants believe their side has been 'winning politically' under the Trump presidency. That's a dramatic turnaround from 2016, when less than one in four white evangelicals saw themselves as on the winning side."
White evangelicals have long been the most dedicated demographic among Trump's base, but support among this group has wavered at times since he took office. As The Inquisitr reported, a Politico/Morning Consult poll late last year found that there was growing support among all evangelical voters to see Trump removed from office due to his pressure on Ukraine to dig up dirt on political rival Joe Biden.
The poll showed that 43 percent of evangelicals supported Trump's removal from office just after the House of Representatives passed two articles of impeachment, but before Trump's trial in the U.S. Senate began early this year.The poll was taken just after Trump came under fire from one of the most influential evangelical publications, the magazine Christianity Today. Editor-in-chief Mark Galli wrote in an op-ed that Trump must be impeached and removed from office for abusing the office of the presidency. Galli also slammed Trump as "profoundly immoral."
In turn, Trump slammed the publication as "left-wing," promoting Galli to respond.
"We consider ourselves and most people consider us a pretty centrist magazine in the evangelical world. It's factually inaccurate we're far left," he said during an appearance on CNN.
"We rarely comment on politics unless we feel it rises to the level of some national or concern that is really important. And this would be a case."