The following assumes that President Donald Trump will be impeached by the Democratic House, kept in office by the Republican Senate and then will appear on the November 2020 ballot.
The key is that are are already some hints of softening support for him in a Public Religion Research Institute survey released October 17.
To be blunt, 27 percent of those who identified as Republican or leaned Republican would prefer a different nominee. Only 39 percent of Americans approved of his job performance as president in this poll, though he did notably better with white (non-Hispanic) Catholics (48 percent) and white mainline Protestants (54 percent) -- and of course white (non-minority) evangelicals (77 percent).
Just under three-fourths (73 percent) of Americans wished Trump’s speech and behavior followed the example set by prior presidents and so did 70 percent of all Catholics and 72 percent of white mainline Protestants.
PRRI provoked the usual commentary about why-oh-why all those white evangelical Protestants favor the president. Certain evangelical thinkers fret that association with his embarrassments is damaging the Christian witness for years to come. That’s an important topic for journalism, since evangelicals are the nation’s largest religious bloc.
But just now reporters are necessarily consumed by 2020 and PRRI reports that white evangelicals favor Trump.
Ho hum. They vote for Republicans, period. By Pew Research data, in 2004 they voted 78 percent for the born-again George W. Bush. In 2008 they slipped to 74 percent for the less overtly pious John McCain, who had tangled with “religious right” preachers. In 2012 they went 78 percent for the devout Mitt Romney despite aversion toward his Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faith. In 2016 they gave 81 percent to the secularized Donald Trump, a proud vulgarian.
But The Guy keeps emphasizing that white Catholics gave Trump 59 percent support, and similarly for Romney.