White evangelicals support Trump, wall, weed legalization, Medicare expansion: Fox News poll

Evangelical supporters of Donald Trump praying at a rally in Florida in this undated photo. | (Photo: Reuters/Carlo Allegri)

A recently released Fox News poll paints a complicated picture of the various public policies that registered voters in the United States who identify as white evangelical support.

On Sunday, Fox News released the findings of a poll directed by Beacon Research and Shaw & Company Research, conducted Dec. 8-11 from a random sample of 1,000 registered U.S. voters with a sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

Among respondents who identified as “white evangelical,” 66 percent said they support building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border, which was well above the 44 percent for all respondents.

A critical voting bloc of the Republican Party, white evangelical respondents also showed their support for President Donald Trump on a host of issues.

Fifty-nine percent of white evangelicals said they plan to vote in the Republican primary or caucus and 24 percent said they plan to vote in the Democrat primary or caucus.

When assessing Trump’s overall job performance, 67 percent of white evangelicals said they either “strongly” or “somewhat” approved of the president.

Regarding the impeachment process, 62 percent of white evangelicals believed House Democrats were not running it fairly, while 27 percent said it was a fair process. Close to one-third (29 percent) said Trump should be impeached and removed from office, while two-thirds (67 percent) opposed impeachment. 

However, white evangelical respondents also supported more politically progressive ideas as well, according to the Fox News poll.

More than half of white evangelicals said they supported the legalization of recreational marijuana (53 percent), while 44 percent were opposed.

Further, 58 percent of white evangelicals expressed support for Medicare expansion, with 31 percent “strongly” in favor while 27 percent were “somewhat” in favor.

When asked about whether to keep the Affordable Care Act in place with some “minor changes,” white evangelical respondents were almost evenly divided, with 48 percent supporting the idea while 46 percent opposed.

This is not the first study to indicate higher than expected support among evangelicals for certain progressive political views, even with conservative positions also noted.

During the summer, a survey sponsored by National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour found that while 66 percent of white evangelicals planned to vote for Trump in 2020, 40 percent also supported the proposed Green New Deal.

Conducted in July by The Marist Poll and drawing from a national sample of 1,346 adults, the survey asked respondents their opinion of the Green New Deal, an economic stimulus package meant to combat man-made climate change.

Overall, 63 percent of respondents supported the idea while 32 percent opposed. Among white evangelicals, 51 percent opposed the idea while 40 percent supported it.

"In the 2016 presidential election, 81 percent of white evangelical Christians voted to elect President Trump,” stated the group Climate Desk earlier this year. 

“But this core base of the Republican Party is more receptive to large-scale action to combat climate change than you might expect.”

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