December 22, 2019

Cracks appear in Donald Trumps support from evangelicals over impeachment, poll shows
More than four in 10 evangelical Christians would approve of Donald Trump being impeached and removed from office following a Senate trial, according to a new poll. It came after Christianity Today, a prominent evangelical magazine, called last week for the president's removal and described his actions as "profoundly immoral." Mr Trump has hit back at the apparently growing fissure within America's evangelical movement, lambasting the magazine as "far left". He also announced plans to launch a new movement called "Evangelicals For Trump," gathering leading religious figures for an event in Miami on Jan 3. People identifying as evangelical make up to one in four of all US voters. Read more | Donald Trump's impeachment In the 2016 election 80 per cent of them backed Mr Trump, and their support is crucial to his re-election bid next year. The Politico/Morning Consult poll was taken on Dec 19 and 20. The Christianity Today article was published on Dec 19. According to the poll 43 per cent of evangelicals would approve of the Senate removing Mr Trump from office. Within that figure 34 per cent would "strongly approve" and nine per cent would "somewhat approve." Mr Trump still had majority support, with 53 per cent saying they would "disapprove" of the Senate removing him, including 49 per cent who would "strongly disapprove." However, it was the latest sign that his support among the evangelical community might be starting to crack. The president's standing with evangelicals is based partly on his continuing commitment to appoint conservative, anti-abortion judges. Support for impeaching President Donald Trump He has been vociferously supported in the wake of the Christianity Today article by major religious leaders including Jerry Fallwell Jr, and  Franklin Graham, the son of Billy Graham. However, some younger evangelicals have expressed doubts about support for Mr Trump, particularly on the issues of immigration and climate change. A Trump campaign spokesman said the Miami event would "bring together evangelicals from across the nation who support President Trump’s re-election." Meanwhile, Mr Trump attacked Democrats for delaying his impeachment. Nancy Pelosi, the Democrat Speaker of the House of Representatives decided not to transmit the charges to the Senate before Congress broke up for Christmas on Friday. At a rally Mr Trump called her "crazy Nancy," and added: "It's so unfair, they [the Democrats] are violating the Constitution." White House officials were said to be considering making an argument that Mr Trump has not actually been impeached until the charges do reach the Senate. He faces two articles of impeachment - abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. Mr Trump is accused of attempting to pressure Ukraine into opening a corruption investigation into the Democrat presidential frontrunner Joe Biden, and his son Hunter. The president denies any wrongdoing.
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