Despite porn stars and Playboy models, white evangelicals aren’t rejecting Trump. This is why.

By Andrew L. Whitehead, Joseph O. Baker and Samuel L. Perry

porn actress says she had sex with Donald Trump, only a few months after his wife gave birth to a son. A former Playboy model says she had an affair with him, too. And yet according to a Pew Research Center poll conducted March 7-14, both white mainline and evangelical Protestants continue to approve of Trump as president at higher levels than other religious groups.

Why are white Christians sticking so closely to President Trump, despite these claims of sexual indiscretions? And why are religious individuals and groups that previously decried sexual impropriety among political leaders suddenly willing to give Trump a “mulligan” on his infidelity?

Our new study points to a different answer than others have offered. Voters’ religious tenets aren’t what is behind Trump support; rather, it’s Christian nationalism — their view of the United States as a fundamentally Christian nation.

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