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Evangelicals' Dream President

Donald Trump is not a popular president. His approval ratings are the lowest for a first-year president in all the time approval ratings have been tracked. He is unpopular among people of color, people with college degrees, people in the east, people in the west, people in the south, unmarried women, unmarried men, college graduates, moderates, rich people, poor people…pick almost any group, and they are probably not fans of Donald Trump.

With a few exceptions. Conservatives like him. White men without a college degree like him. And Evangelical Christians love him. He is, in the words of Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr., evangelicals' dream president. What makes Trump so dreamy in Falwell's eyes?

When asked why evangelicals rated the president's performance so high, Falwell first pointed to Trump's Supreme Court appointment and attacks on ISIS, but then pivoted to Trump's domestic campaign promises.

" ... evangelicals didn't just vote on social issues this time, because the Republican establishment had lied to them over decades about those issues, and so instead, they went a different direction," Falwell said. "They were concerned about the borders, about bringing jobs back. I think they're just as thrilled about all those things — going after sanctuary cities, all those things."

Is there anything about Trump that Falwell doesn't like?

" ... I'll tell you what evangelicals are not happy about in the first 100 days. It's that moderate Republicans who I believe seem to be obstructing Donald Trump's agenda in Congress, and I think they're going to pay the price in 2018 if they don't stop. ... These moderates just make my blood boil."

This seems to confirm two things I've blogged about in the past. First, Matthew MacWilliams' polling data from late 2015 showing Trump supporters were drawn to him as an authority figure; Falwell's greatest source of frustration is with those who simply won't fall in line. Second, Philip Tetlock's studies showing that even when ideologues pivot, they are unwilling to recognize they've changed their point of view.

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