For fun, let's try — one more time — to make sense of Donald Trump's evangelical support

Over the weekend, I partied like a journalist.

No, I'm not talking about celebrating the best picture Oscar for "Spotlight," although I thought that was pretty cool:

Rather, I'm referring to the column I wrote comparing the 2016 Republican presidential race to the wrestling shows I watched as a kid. (We newspaper writers do like to amuse ourselves.)

In a more serious take, I tackled this question in a piece for The Christian Chronicle:

In the year of Trump, do values, character matter to Christian voters?

Over at the New York Times, Sunday's newspaper likewise explored the phenomenon of Trump winning the hearts of evangelical voters. Given that I covered the same Oklahoma City rally as the Times, I called dibs on critiquing the piece for GetReligion.

"Go for it," editor Terry Mattingly replied. "You can link to the previous 28 posts. ;-)"

OK, boss, if you insist.

In case you missed any of our recent posts on media coverage of Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and evangelical voters, find them here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. That was 28, right?

Whew. My fingers are tired from all that hyperlinking. If there are any broken links, please don't tell me. Contact our complaints department.

Back to Sunday's Times story: The lede pretty much nails it:

OKLAHOMA CITY — It is one of the prime paradoxes of the 2016 election: A twice-divorced candidate who has flaunted his adultery, praised Planned Parenthood and admitted to never asking for God’s forgiveness is the favorite of the Christian right.
The candidate, Donald J. Trump, who won with evangelical voters in South Carolina and has their support in other Bible Belt states that will vote in primaries on Tuesday, has dominated the Republican campaign by appealing to the economically disenfranchised. But the promise of a Trump presidency that would gall the political elites is also resonating with the culturally disenfranchised, including many conservative Christians.

The Times talks to a number of expert sources, who provide helpful analysis.

And — just when I wondered if the Old Gray Lady ever was going to get around to quoting any actual Trump voters — she does. The voters quoted are interesting and insightful concerning what appeals to them about the Bible-collecting billionaire who drew chuckles for the way he said "2 Corinthians."

This line did make me smile:

Mr. Trump’s appeal with the religious right is debunking some long-held maxims about evangelical voters, showing that they are not monolithic; that they do not fall neatly in step with evangelical leaders, many of whom endorsed Mr. Cruz; and that within evangelical ranks lie fault lines of class and culture.

Um, here at GetReligion, we've been debunking those maxims since the days when Trump was still donating to liberal Democrats and hanging out with the Clintons. Sorry, Times, if you did not receive the memo.

By the way, links 11, 16, 19, 22 and 26 above are particularly insightful on such matters. Right, tmatt?

#PartyLikeAJournalist

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