Dec 27, 2019

Trump's moves to shore up his evangelical base

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

Updated 11 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden: George Floyd's last words are "a wake-up call for our nation"

Former Vice President Joe Biden meets with clergy members and community activists during a visit to Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. on June 1, 2020. Photo: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

Vice President Joe Biden is calling George Floyd’s dying words “a wake-up call for our nation,” and criticized President Trump’s decision to unleash tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House, in a civil rights speech from Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Why it matters: Biden in the address drew a sharp contrast between himself and Trump, whose first remarks addressing nationwide unrest Monday highlighted law and order, extreme demonstrations of militarized “strength” and other blustery threats.

Updated 19 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 6,302,318 — Total deaths: 376,322 — Total recoveries — 2,716,924Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 11 a.m. ET: 1,812,125 — Total deaths: 105,192 — Total recoveries: 458,231 — Total tested: 17,340,682Map.
  3. Public health: Protests against police brutality threaten coronavirus response.
  4. Business: Coronavirus could lower GDP by $15.7 trillion — More than 1 in 6 black workers lost jobs between February and April.
  5. Climate: The alarm over climate financial risk gets louder because of coronavirus.
  6. Media: Interest in the George Floyd protests has soared past the coronavirus.

The business of tear gas

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

U.S. forces yesterday used tear gas on peaceful protesters outside the White House gates, prior to a declared curfew, clearing a path for President Trump to visit a riot-damaged church for a photo opportunity.

The state of play: Two of the largest U.S. producers of tear gas are owned by private equity firms, but those firms have no interest in discussing their ownership.