Evangelicals may not reflect the current polling data. Both issues and what is important as well as who is important varies from the general populous. See who evangelical leaders are picking for their presidential favorites and why.
Whom do evangelical insiders favor in 2016?
Campaign 2016 | Marco Rubio leads, former favorites flop in 2016 questionnaire responses
By J.C. Derrick/ World
WASHINGTON—Good news for Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, and Carly Fiorina. Mixed news for Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz. Bad news for Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, and Ben Carson. And if anyone thought Donald Trump or Chris Christie were picking up support from evangelical leaders, pop that bubble.
Those are the findings from a survey of nearly 100 evangelical leaders and insiders. Numerous 2016 GOP candidates have identified evangelicals as a key part of their road to the White House, so WORLD, the leading evangelical news magazine, recently asked 103 evangelical leaders and insiders to see whom they prefer. Ninety-four responded.
Each month, WORLD will sample this mix and reveal results that are not scientific or representative of all evangelicals, but offer a snapshot of how well-connected evangelical insiders are leaning—and it looks like they are looking for a winner rather than someone identified as one of them.
WORLD’s first snapshot shows 39 percent of respondents naming Rubio as either their first or second choice. Bush ranked second as the first or second option for 32 percent of respondents. Walker came in third at 28 percent. But when asked to choose their favorite from among the top four GOP candidates in current polls (Trump, Bush, Walker, and Rubio) Rubio at 40 percent and Walker at 33 percent were the clear leaders.
Bush received 23 percent in that frontrunner match-up, but 26 percent of evangelical insiders said they would “absolutely” not vote for him in primaries. Trump, who has claimed to have evangelical support, received only 4 percent of those votes, and 75 percent said they absolutely would not vote for him in primaries. Very few respondents said they wouldn’t consider voting for Rubio (8 percent) or Walker (9 percent).
Given the sensitive positions of some participants, WORLD has agreed not to name them, but will quote some in monthly stories.