On Trump, ‘Republicans and Evangelicals Adjusted Their Moral Terms’

On Trump, ‘Republicans and Evangelicals Adjusted Their Moral Terms’

For The Washington Post, Philip Bump analyzes new pushback against former President Donald Trump emerging from people and institutions allied to the Republican party. Pointing to two members of the GOP establishment’s recent endorsements of Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, Bump argues that criticism of Trump’s character is both too late, and not necessarily shared by the majority of Republican voters. PRRI research between 2011 and 2020 found that in 2011, during Obama’s first term, only about a third of Republicans agreed that “an elected official who commits immoral acts in private can be ethical in their public actions,” but by 2016, the majority of Republicans agreed with this statement. As Bump put it, “Republicans and evangelicals adjusted their moral terms.”


Biden Administration Proposes Strictest Lead Pipe Rules in More Than Three Decades

The Associated Press reports that new rules put forward by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require most American cities to replace lead water pipes within 10 years as the Biden administration works to curb a public health crisis by reducing lead in drinking water. The new standards are expected to improve IQ scores in children and reduce high blood pressure and heart disease in adults, but will require billions of dollars to achieve. The Biden administration has posited that roughly 9 million lead pipes will be removed. After severe lead water crises, tap water use declined nationally, especially among Black and Hispanic Americans. PRRI research finds that Black Americans (62%) are significantly more likely than white Americans (32%), Hispanic Americans (48%), or Americans of other races or ethnicities (50%) to approve of Biden’s job performance.


Senate Judiciary Committee Authorizes Subpoenas in Supreme Court Ethics Probe

Melissa Quinn at CBS News reports the Senate Judiciary Committee has made headway in the  investigation into U.S. Supreme Court ethics by voting to issue subpoenas to GOP megadonor Harlan Crow and judicial activist Leonard Leo. The subpoenas were met with disapproval from the committee’s Republican members, almost all of whom walked out. Lawmakers requested documents from Crow and Leo about gifts, trips, and lodging provided to any member of the high court following a bombshell report by ProPublica, which found Associate Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas had received extensive gifts and luxury vacations. PRRI research found that Democrats were the least likely to say they had a favorable view of the court (34%), versus three-fourths of Republicans (75%) and 55% of independents.


Meet the TikTok Influencers Spreading Christian Nationalism to a New Generation

It’s not just the 2024 Republican candidates who are embracing Christian nationalist ideas, as millennial and Gen Z influencers are also adopting and spreading these beliefs on social media, reports Reckon’s Anna Beahm. Despite being the most religiously diverse generation, the growing popularity of TikTok influencers whose platforms spread misinformation and defend Christian nationalism suggest that Gen Zers are open to far-right messaging, especially when it is framed to address their concerns about social injustice. PRRI’s Christian Nationalism Survey found that one-third or more of Americans ages 50-64 (22% sympathizers, 11% adherents) lean toward supporting Christian nationalism, versus seven in ten Americans ages 18-29 (37% skeptics, 42% rejecters) who lean toward opposing it.


What’s Buzzing?

To learn more, read PRRI’s 2022 Census of American Religion here.