No matter how popular Donald Trump is among Republican voters, a survey revealed that pastors of evangelical churches do not find him appealing at all. Pastors, who largely identify themselves as Republicans, in general are still undecided on who to vote for.
A new survey sponsored by LifeWay showed that pastors are mostly unimpressed with Trump and his campaigns. According to the survey, just four percent of pastors said they are sure their votes will go towards the billionaire businessman turned politician. The survey is carried out through phone interviews, with a total of 1,000 senior pastors, priests, and ministers as the participants. Among these participants, 54% claimed they are Republicans.
This finding runs in contrast to the survey results for Republican voters in general. A new CNN poll stated Trump is now the top Republican contender, amassing 40% of Republican voters. "One of the most surprising findings of our survey was the poor showing of Donald Trump," Ed Stetzer, executive director of LifeWay Research, said. "When it comes to Mr. Trump, there seems to be a huge gap between the pulpit and the pew."
Stetzer also claimed that it is interesting to note that rank-and-file evangelicals and church attendees are enamored by Trump while their pastors cannot see what they saw in the candidate. "One of the few religious groups that national polls track are evangelical Christians, and it is hard not to notice a surprising gap between them and their pastors," says Stetzer. "Based on most other polls, rank-and-file evangelicals and church attendees are most likely supporting Trump. Yet, pastors are undecided or more likely to support Cruz. The absence of support for Trump is similar to unscientific surveys of evangelical leaders from the National Association of Evangelicals and WORLD Magazine that have consistently pointed to Rubio."
The majority of the pastors who do not like Trump are not more in favor of anyone, though. Around 47% claimed they are still undecided on who to vote for. Only 17% said they are sure to vote for Ted Cruz. Ben Carson has the support of 7% of the pastors.
In the long run, it might not even matter what the pastors think, though. Reports after reports are coming out that Trump is one of the strongest contenders among the candidates. He even managed to gain the attention of different Unions identifying as Democratic, as reported by NY Times. The Service Employees International Union is one. Another is the Indiana state firefighters union. According to the President of the Union, Thomas Hanify, his members are attracted to Trump because they feel that he is not mincing words and saying what is really on people's minds, unlike other presidential candidates who are playing it safe.