PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones on the 2020 Presidential Debate
Amid the national conversation on white supremacy and the 2020 presidential debate, PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones shared his thoughts on Twitter. “Let’s be clear: ‘Law and order’ & references to ‘suburbs’ being threatened by low income housing are old tropes from the Republican ‘southern strategy,’ which exploited white racial fears for political gain. GOP apologized for this in 2005, Trump has resurrected it,” Jones said. PRRI data shows that 38% of white Christians think Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacy, while the majority (56%) think it has made no difference. Jones went on to question how white Christians could support white supremacy. “Regardless of what other grounds white Christians may have for supporting Trump, what is the country to make of our Christian faith if we can’t demand that all candidates unequivocally condemn white supremacist groups as a minimum condition of support?”
Catholics, Discrimination and the 2020 Election
A recent piece in The New York Times looks at the role Catholicism has played in the 2020 presidential election. PRRI data shows that 54% of white Catholics currently have a favorable opinion of President Trump, compared to 43% with a favorable opinion of former Vice President Biden. Times writer Annie Karni looks at additional PRRI data on whether Catholics feel discriminated against. “Fifty-one percent of white Catholics agreed with the idea that discrimination against white people was as much of a problem today as discrimination against racial minorities, according to a Public Religion Research Institute poll in June,” Karni writes.
PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones Talks ‘White Too Long’ with Commonweal
In a recent interview with Commonweal, PRRI CEO and founder Robert P. Jones discussed the origins of his latest book, “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.” “White Christianity baptized a worldview of white supremacy,” Jones tells Regina Munch. “There’s no greater source of legitimacy than to say something was handed down by God and supported by the Bible, and this is exactly the role that white Christian churches, both Protestant and Catholic, played.”
A Majority of Americans Say President Trump Encourages White Supremacists
According to PRRI data from 2019, a majority (57%) of Americans say President Donald Trump’s decisions and behavior have encouraged white supremacist groups. During Tuesday night’s presidential debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden, the president refused to condemn white supremacist groups. When offered a specific group to condemn, the Proud Boys, Trump appeared to encourage their behavior. “Proud Boys, stand back, and stand by,” Trump said. Shortly after the exchange, the Proud Boys unveiled a new logo with President Trump’s quote as a new slogan. “The group is also reported to be selling merchandise based on the comments, including at a T-shirt reading “Proud Boys Standing By,” Newsweek reports. Additional PRRI data shows that fewer than one in ten (6%) say the president has discouraged white supremacist groups.
Republican CNN Contributor Says Trump Did Not Appeal to Women
PRRI’s most recent data shows that 35% of women have a favorable view of President Trump, compared to 47% of men. According to Scott Jennings, longtime adviser to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and current CNN contributor, President Donald Trump’s debate performance did not help his low ratings with women. “I cannot imagine he did anything tonight that any female viewer who was thinking about supporting him would have appreciated,” Jennings said following the 2020 presidential debate. “Trump has tried to close his gap with women by focusing on the suburbs,” note Gregory Krieg and Dan Merica of CNN.