ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
White evangelicals in the United States have consistently been among President Trump's strongest supporters. Now a new survey shows how sharply their view of the president differs from the opinions of other Americans. Here's NPR's Tom Gjelten.
TOM GJELTEN, BYLINE: A new survey from the Pew Research Center was carried out just last month. Some findings reflect those from earlier surveys. Three-quarters of white evangelicals approve of Trump or agree with his positions. But this survey digs deeper, asking people - both evangelicals and U.S. adults as a whole - whether they see Trump as morally upstanding or honest. Greg Smith directs religion research at Pew.
GREG SMITH: Six in 10 white evangelical Protestants say the term morally upstanding describes Donald Trump at least fairly well. That's double the rate that we see among the population as a whole. Seven in 10 say the term honest describes Donald Trump at least fairly well. That's twice as high as what we see among the public as a whole.
GJELTEN: The evangelical view of Trump stands out not just by its divergence from the general view but by its apparent disconnect from normal standards. Almost two-thirds of white evangelicals see Trump as at least somewhat religious despite his profanity, his sporadic church attendance and his evident unfamiliarity with the Bible. One key to the evangelical devotion to Trump - they see him as being on their side. More than 90% say they want their president to stand up not just for religious beliefs in general but for their religious beliefs in particular. The findings show support for a kind of Judeo-Christian nationalism among white evangelicals. Again, Pew researcher Greg Smith.
SMITH: Nine in 10 white evangelical Protestants say they want the Bible to have at least some influence or a great deal of influence on the laws of the United States. And many of them - two-thirds of white evangelical Protestants - go a step further, and they say that if and when the Bible conflicts with the will of the American people, the Bible should have more influence on the laws of the land.
GJELTEN: From the evangelical point of view, the Trump presidency has been good news. Almost 2 out of 3 evangelicals now see their side as winning politically. Four years ago, only about 1 out of 4 said that.
Tom Gjelten, NPR News.
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