Donald Trump to Address ‘Values Voters,’ a Potentially Elusive Crowd

Screen Shot 2016-09-09 at 10.40.33MAGGIE HABERMAN

Friday, September 9, 2016

 

Good Friday morning.
Donald J. Trump and his running mate, Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana, will address the Values Voter Summit in Washington, which starts on Friday, putting the Republican presidential ticket in front of one of the largest audiences of social conservatives in the 2016 campaign.
Mr. Pence, who will speak on Saturday, is a social conservative who was photographed leading Mr. Trump in prayer aboard the real-estate mogul’s plane soon after he joined the ticket. But while Mr. Trump performed relatively well with evangelical voters in the Republican primaries, he has only fleetingly addressed churchgoers since then. He has previously supported abortion rights and has spoken favorably of same-sex civil unions, two issues that are of concern to evangelical voters.
In many ways, evangelical voters, long a staple of the Republican base and crucial for any aspiring Republican nominee, have had a relatively diminished role in this presidential cycle. Mr. Trump faced a fractured field of more than a dozen candidates right up until the Iowa caucuses, reducing the amount of support that any one person needed. But faith-based voters were crucial in former President George W. Bush’s campaigns, and Mr. Trump’s electoral prospects will dim if they do not show up for him.
Mr. Trump has never sounded comfortable using the language of evangelicals, referring to the Bible book “Second Corinthians” as “Two Corinthians” at one point in the primaries, and reaching for his wallet at an Iowa church when the communion plate was passed after he confused it with the collection tin.
Still, Mr. Pence’s presence on the ticket could help reassure those who are nervous about Mr. Trump’s candidacy that they should vote for the pair on Nov. 8.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
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Damir Sagolj/Reuters
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Eric Thayer for The New York Times
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Donald J. Trump at the commander in chief in New York on Wednesday. He will visit a charter school in Cleveland on Thursday.

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Doug Mills/The New York Times
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Doug Mills/The New York Times
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Eric Thayer for The New York Times
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Matt Lauer of “Today,” interviewing Hillary Clinton during the NBC forum aboard the Intrepid on Wednesday.

Doug Mills/The New York Times
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Hillary Clinton during Wednesday’s commander in chief forum, moderated my Matt Lauer of NBC News, in New York.

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Eric Thayer for The New York Times
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Doug Mills/The New York Times
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