Guest / Limited Access /

When President Bush steps up to deliver his sixth State of the Union address, he will find a clear majority of evangelicals still support him, but their fervor has been weakening.

In the 2004 election, white evangelicals gave the President 76 percent of their votes. The strength of white evangelical support for Bush is similar to that of Jewish and African American support for Democrats. The big difference is that white evangelicals are a larger constituency, representing more than 25 percent of the U.S. voting population.

In recent months, evangelical support for the President and the Iraq war has drifted downward. In December 2002, a Pew Center poll found that 77 percent of white evangelicals approved of Bush's job performance. By October 2003, that approval rating had drifted down to 68 percent. In October 2005, it was 64 percent.

In addition, backers of Bush are less intense in their support. Previous Pew polls found that most evangelical supporters gave Bush an "excellent" rating as President. Now, most give a "good" rating.

Still, evangelical support is relatively strong. By way of contrast, non-evangelical job approval of Bush has fallen much farther. In December 2002, 61 percent of all Americans approved of Bush's job performance. Within a year, the President's approval rating had dropped to 50 percent. This fall, it bottomed out at 37 percent, the lowest level in his presidency.

To get a better handle on shifting evangelical reactions, Christianity Today interviewed a broad cross-section of evangelical leaders throughout 2005 on their evolving views of Bush. CT also spoke in greater depth with core supporters of the President at four churches: Folsom Community Bible Church in California; Christ Presbyterian in Victoria, ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
From Issue:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only
Major Case on Minors
Parental notification laws, under consideration by Supreme Court, are expanding.
RecommendedTrump Won. Here's How 20 Evangelical Leaders Feel.
Trump Won. Here's How 20 Evangelical Leaders Feel.
Pastors, authors, and others weigh in on 2016 election.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickFairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights
Fairness for All: Evangelicals Explore Truce on LGBT and Religious Rights
It worked in Utah. But national effort by the CCCU and NAE will be more complicated.
Christianity Today
Disappointed but Holding
hide thisFebruary February

In the Magazine

February 2006

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.