Donald Trump’s significant problem is that he’s going to bounce from Iowa, past New Hampshire, into South Carolina and Southern states should he last that long. And Trump speaks Christianity like a third language.
Gallup polling suggests evangelical voters are most likely to be opposed to Trump. There’s actually a pretty significant difference between Trump and Carson supporters. Carson supporters are not as angry online and are more often people of deeply rooted faith. Their anger at Washington is tempered by their hope in Christ. I encounter these people repeatedly. And more data is showing that as the Trump core gets hotter, evangelicals are drifting over to Ben Carson.
I encounter this on a weekly basis. I know several people locally that reflect this data. They flirted with Trump, but decided his statements on his faith identified him as not really into Christianity and the growing levels of anger appalled them. So they went over the Carson.
As I’ve said several times, Carson’s supporters continue to be great ambassadors for him — happy warriors all. For those of us, like me, who were skeptical of Carson’s seriousness as a candidate, he’s proven us wrong and I don’t know a single Carson skeptic who has dug in their heels against him. His presence and his supporters demeanor have helped him tremendously in a way that Trump’s just keep turning off the same people.
It’s really telling that the faith issue is what is drawing people to Carson and away from Trump. It impacts how the two men’s supporters deal with those not on the team and Trump’s continued statements about not needing to repent and not having a particular verse in the Bible he likes, etc. are indicators for evangelicals that Trump is not one of them.
Iowan and South Carolinian primary voters care about these things. They want authenticity in candidates and authentic faith. They’re finding it with Carson.