At their nominating convention in Philadelphia Wednesday night, the Democratic Party made a clear argument to Republicans and Independents: We are stable, competent, and quintessentially American. Donald Trump is erratic, dangerous, and possibly a madman.
Between New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine, and President Barack Obama, the thrust of Wednesday’s message was that voters who don’t normally support Democrats should do so this time out of love for country, if for no other reason than that the Republicans’ nominee is a disaster.
I hear a lot of people say they think white conservative evangelicals might consider Clinton except for the issue of abortion rights.
But this response from Dr. Jerry Johnson of the National Religious Broadcasters is typical of evangelical leaders.
If you’re pro life & really believe what we say we believe about abortion, the Democrat platform spoils all “great” #DemConvention speeches.
— Jerry A. Johnson (@DrJerryJohnson) July 28, 2016
When it comes to assessing the impact of DNC speeches designed to appeal to more than just Democrats, we must remember that opposition to legal abortion is absolutely fundamental to conservative evangelicals’ political engagement.
I would add that even if white conservative evangelicals weren’t evangelical, they would still be white conservatives. Even if you take abortion off the table, convincing them to vote for a liberal Democrat is a tough sell. And even if their Christian values point them more towards Democrats than Republicans on non-sex-related issues, it is hard to ask them to overlook the Democrats’ ever more strident and unconditional support for abortion rights.
As with other demographic breakdowns, white Protestants’ voting varies by income, educational attainment, geography, sex, and race — not just religious affiliation or participation.