Donald Trump made a potentially fatal error yesterday in Iowa.
Contrary to what most people in the press and the establishment think, it was not insulting John McCain. Though he crossed a line with his McCain remark, that’s not what the average evangelical, base Republican voter was paying attention to.
In addition to his statement on McCain, Trump also said he had never asked for forgiveness from God for anything. He referred to communion as eating a cracker. In other words, Trump sounded very much not like a believer to the ears of the average evangelical.
They may have liked some of his fiery rhetoric. They may have loved that Donald Trump was throwing punches. But they’ve been skeptical on Trump’s faith issue for a while and yesterday largely closed the books on evangelical support.
If one has never asked God for forgiveness, that person has never engaged in a foundational part of the Christian faith, i.e. repentance. If you believe in God and haven’t asked God for forgiveness, you don’t exactly have an understanding of mainstream Christianity.
The media might not have noticed. But it was the talk of evangelicals yesterday and today at church.