Dec 27, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Trump's moves to shore up his evangelical base

President Donald Trump

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump is working to strengthen his following among evangelical voters after Christianity Today, a magazine founded by the late Rev. Billy Graham, published an editorial earlier this month calling for his removal in the wake of his impeachment.

Why it matters: About 81% of evangelical Christians — a group that makes up 25% of the electorate — voted for Trump in 2016, according to Pew Research Center.

What he's doing:

  • On Christmas Eve, the president and First Lady Melania Trump opted to go to a conservative Baptist-affiliated church in West Palm Beach instead of the liberal Episcopalian church in which they were married and often attend holiday services, USA Today reports.
  • Trump's 2020 campaign announced last week that the president will be on hand to launch the "Evangelicals for Trump" coalition at a Jan. 3, 2020 event in Miami.

The backdrop: Christianity Today called Trump "grossly immoral" in its editorial calling for his removal.

  • Trump quickly responded on Twitter, claiming, "No president has done more for the evangelical community."
  • A group of nearly 200 conservative evangelical leaders sent a letter last weekend rebuking the editorial.
  • The op-ed sent shockwaves throughout the Christian journalism community, as the Christian Post's plan to publish a pro-Trump editorial in response caused one of the publication's top editors to resign.

Go deeper: How Trump wins 2020

Go deeper