Evangelicals may be President's last resort

Two writers offer different views of US President Donald Trump's political prospects this year - crumbling support, or opportunity, as named opponents come out against him

Why does President Donald Trump continue to keep the government shut down over his demand for a border wall, when large majorities oppose it? The most obvious answer is that he senses his long-term political survival depends on keeping his wall-adoring base behind him as his legal travails mount.

What is more interesting, though, is that the core of that base support may grow increasingly dependent on the white evangelical Christians who continue fervently supporting Mr Trump no matter what he says and does. And for these voters, it appears, the wall is an extraordinarily potent totem, one whose significance for them calls for better explication as we head into a protracted showdown over it.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2019, with the headline 'Evangelicals may be President's last resort'. Print Edition | Subscribe