A slim majority of pastors say they approve of the job President Donald Trump has done in the White House, but many are unsure.
A new study from Nashville-based LifeWay Research of Protestant senior pastors found 51 percent approve of how Trump has handled the presidency, with 25 percent strongly approving.
“After almost two years of actions and statements from the White House, most pastors likely consider some positive and others negative,” said Scott McConnell, executive director of LifeWay Research.
“When asked to evaluate the president’s job performance with no neutral option, most pastors approve.”
Still, almost 3 in 10 (28%) disapprove, and another 2 in 10 (20%) say they aren’t sure.
Pastors were specifically prompted to evaluate the president’s job performance, said McConnell. There is no lack of data on President Trump, but many were still hesitant to give an opinion.
“Compared to the middle of President Obama’s first term, we see twice as many pastors say they’re undecided on President Trump’s job performance,” said McConnell.
In the leadup to the 2010 midterm elections, a LifeWay Research survey found 30 percent of Protestant pastors approved of President Obama’s job performance. More than 6 in 10 (61%) disapproved, and only 9 percent said they were not sure.
“There is no lack of information on what President Trump is doing or how he is doing it,” said McConnell, “so the undecided posture appears to be an unwillingness to identify with either of the political sides that have emerged in American politics.”
The hesitancy of pastors to take sides where Trump is concerned stretches back to the presidential election.
Despite 52 percent of Protestant pastors identifying as a Republican and only 18 percent calling themselves a Democrat in a LifeWay Research survey prior to the November 2016 election, only 32 percent said they planned to vote for Trump. A full 40 percent said they were undecided, with 19 percent planning to vote for Hillary Clinton.
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Source: Christianity Today