Donald Trump faces a new kind of test as the presidential nominating contest moves to the South, where many of the blue-collar voters that have formed his base of support are also evangelical Christians open to appeals from social conservatives.
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Mr. Trump carried a broad set of voter groups in winning the New Hampshire primary Tuesday, including evangelical Christians. But his support has been strongest among secular, blue-collar voters—those who attend religious services infrequently and who don’t identify as evangelicals, opinion polls and results from the first two contests show.
Now, the Republican candidates head into states where blue-collar voters are more plentiful—and the largest share are evangelical Christians. That sets up a test of whether blue-collar evangelicals will side with Mr. Trump or favor candidates such as Sens. Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who are more identified with the antiabortion movement and other conservative social causes.
Mr. Cruz won evangelicals without a college degree in Iowa on his way to a first-place finish in last week’s caucuses. Mr. Trump won them in New Hampshire on Tuesday.
Ted Cruz and his daughters share a quiet moment
before a debate
Mr. Cruz signaled Tuesday night that the battle was on for such voters. Speaking after his third-place finish in New Hampshire, he said the Republican Party needed to reunite Ronald Reagan’s coalition of conservatives, evangelicals and “especially, especially Reagan Democrats, the blue-collar voters who the Democratic Party has abandoned ... We have to welcome home the Reagan Democrats.’’Read the rest of the story HERE.
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