Pastor Robert Jeffress of First Baptist Dallas, staunch support of President Donald Trump, said on Friday that only evangelicals who have “sold their soul to the devil” will vote for presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden in November.
Speaking to Lou Dobbs on Fox Business, the 64-year-old megachurch pastor and frequent Fox News contributor was asked what he thought of the Biden campaign’s attempt to appeal to voters of faith in the final days of the election.
Jeffress, who has often engaged with the Trump White House and was a member of Trump’s 2016 evangelical advisory council, said that “there’s not a snowball’s chance … of Joe Biden gaining any significant evangelical vote at all.”
“The only evangelicals who are going to vote for Joe Biden are those who have sold their soul to the devil and accepted the Democrats’ barbaric position on abortion,” Jeffress said. “I mean, it’s so barbaric, Joe Biden believes in unrestricted abortion. He can’t even get his own church, the Catholic Church, to stomach it. They have denied him communion because of that.”
Jeffress cited a recent Pew poll that suggests that “82% evangelicals are gonna vote for President Trump on Nov. 3.”
“I think the number’s gonna be higher than that,” he proclaimed.
The poll found that while 82% of white evangelical Protestant registered voters plan to vote for or are leaning toward voting for Trump, 17% of white evangelical Protestant registered voters said they plan to vote for or will likely vote for Biden.
In the 2016 presidential election, exit polls showed that 80% of white born-again or evangelical Christians voted for Trump. Meanwhile, 16% voted for Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton, a reduction from the 26% of white evangelicals who voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and the 21% who voted for him in 2012.
“We know there is a whole group of evangelicals that didn’t tell pollsters they were going to vote for [Trump] in 2016. They didn’t want to be badgered or bullied. That’s even more so this time,” Jeffress said.
“People are being told that if [they] support President Trump, [they] are a racist. Nobody wants to be called that. So, they are not going to admit they are voting for President Trump on Nov. 3.”
The pastor predicted that on election day, “there is going to be a tsunami-sized surprise of voters turning out to support our great President Donald Trump.”
A recent poll from the Cato Institute found that most Americans today feel the political climate prevents them from openly saying things they believe because others may find their beliefs offensive, including 77% of conservatives.
In June, Vice President Mike Pence spoke at the annual “Celebrate Freedom Sunday” event at First Baptist Dallas. During the event, Jeffress praised the Trump administration for enacting “the most pro-life, pre-religious liberty, pro-Israel, pro-conservative judiciary in the history of America.”
In July, more than 100 Christian pastors, academics and advocates called on the Democratic National Committee “to recognize the inviolable human dignity of the child, before and after birth,” as well as adopt a party platform that’s friendlier to those who are pro-life.
The list was signed by prominent progressive pastors and activists including Shane Claiborne of Red Letter Christians, Gabriel Salguero of the National Latino Evangelical Association and Baylor University professor George Yancey.
The letter, organized by the activist group Democrats for Life, was also signed by the executive leadership team at the Transformation Church in South Carolina, a prominent multiethnic church led by Pastor Derwin Gray.
“We urge the Democratic Party to embrace policies that protect both women and children: legal protection for pre-born children, improved prenatal care for women in need, especially women of color, alternatives to abortion, and a comprehensive culture of life free from violence, poverty and racism,” they wrote in a letter to the Democratic Platform Committee.
The signatories urged the committee “to reject a litmus test on pro-life people of faith seeking office in the Democratic Party.”
“Crucially, we urge you to end the explicit support in your platform for abortion extremism, such as taxpayer-funded abortion in America and overseas, opposed by 60% and 76% of voters,” the letter explains.
Last year, Biden — a former Delaware senator and vice president under Obama — reversed his decades-long support for the Hyde Amendment. The measure has been in place since the 1970s and restricts federal funding of abortions.
“Just as I’ve never attempted to impose my views on anyone else as to when life begins, I have never attempted to impose my view on who should pay for it,” Biden said in June 2019.
Last month, another prominent Christian conservative, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, refuted the argument made by some Never Trump Republicans that Biden may be a more acceptable candidate for Christians in 2020.
“This is [a] man running on a vision, not only of abortion-on-demand, but abortion right up until — and perhaps after — birth,” Perkins stressed in a July 21 op-ed. “To cap it off, for those Americans who do have a biblical or moral objection to abortion, he says they should still have to pay for them with their tax dollars. How does he square ‘authentic’ faith with those radical positions?”
Steven Krueger, president of Catholic Democrats, warned last year that “the far left wing of the party has had influence on a number of issues,” particularly on the issue of abortion. He told The Associated Press that the “far-left” influence “is not going to serve candidates well once they’re in the general election.”
“And the problem is, it’s very difficult to kind of tack back to the middle once you take a stand on something as black and white as whether or not you want to repeal” the restrictions on federal abortion funding, he added.
Democrats for Life Executive Director Kristen Day said earlier this year that the Democrat Party’s position on abortion is “the most extreme” she has ever seen. In a February press conference, Day stated that Democrats have lost their political advantages in southern states since 2010.
“During that time period, the Democratic Party moved away from ‘safe, legal and rare’ to today, [supporting] abortion up to nine months for any reason,” Day explained.