According to a report from Politico, staffers working on Donald Trump's campaign have been suddenly confronted with the fact that members of one of the president's strongest constituencies are turning to presumptive opponent Joe Biden, threatening the president's re-election.
Taking a cue from former President Barack Obama's 2008 campaign where he met with evangelical leaders to gain their support, Biden is reportedly doing the same and it appears that he is being effective which has become a cause for concern for Trump's people.
"Now, allies of President Donald Trump worry his 2020 opponent, Joe Biden, can do the same — snatching a slice of a critical voting bloc from Trump when he can least afford departures from his base," Politico's Gabby Orr wrote, before noting that Biden is performing better with white evangelicals than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
Although there are concerns among evangelical leaders about some of Biden's position on hot-topic issues like abortion and conservative judges, Orr writes, "...anxiety is growing inside Trump’s orbit about the former vice president’s ability to peel off Christian voters who supported him in 2016, including the 81 percent of white evangelicals he carried, according to eight administration officials, White House allies and people involved with the Trump campaign."
According to David Brody, chief political analyst at the Christian Broadcasting Network, this could be a major problem for Trump.
“Here’s the problem for Trump: he needs to be at 81 percent or north to win reelection. Any slippage and he doesn’t get a second term, and that’s where Joe Biden comes into play,” Brody explained. “In this environment, with everything from the coronavirus to George Floyd and Trump calling himself the ‘law-and-order president,’ Biden could potentially pick off a percent or two from that 81 percent number.”
Rob Stutzman, a Republican strategist, added Biden seeking Christian votes is a smart strategy against this particular president.
“He would be well-served to talk more in those terms, instead of telling people to check out his record,” he explained. “There are a lot of themes that fit the moment related to justice, authority and loving your neighbor and not in a way that would necessarily make white evangelicals uncomfortable if Biden could speak to them.”
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