Evangelicals stand by Trump during Stormy Daniels saga

Trump voters have tuned out the avalanche of Stormy Daniels news, according to 2 new polls

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published March 14, 2018 2:00PM (EDT)

Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)
Stormy Daniels; Donald Trump (AP/Getty/Salon)

A plurality of evangelical and Donald Trump voters’ opinions of the president remain unchanged by a scandal surrounding an adult film star’s alleged affair with him, according to two new polls.

Even if Trump is proved to have had an affair with porn star Stormy Daniels, nearly half of Republicans aren't sure they would morally condemn him for doing so. Forty-seven percent of Republicans are either unsure whether they would consider a Trump affair with Daniels to be immoral or are certain that they would not consider it to be immoral, according to a new HuffPost/YouGov survey. Forty-four percent of independents also said they would either not condemn or be uncertain about their feelings regarding a potential Trump-Daniels affair, while only 18 percent of Democrats said the same thing.

By contrast, 82 percent of Democrats, 55 percent of independents and 54 percent of Republicans said they would consider such an affair to be immoral.

In a Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday, 8 percent of evangelical voters said the alleged affair gave them a “much more favorable” view of Trump and 7 percent said it makes them “somewhat more favorable” of the president.

There have been previous indications that Republicans, despite their reputation for upholding socially conservative values, were willing to turn a blind eye to Trump's indiscretions. In addition to forgiving him for having been in three marriages and cultivating a womanizing reputation, Family Research Council President Tony Perkins controversially declared during a Politico podcast that when it came to Stormy Daniels "we kind of gave him—'All right, you get a mulligan. You get a do-over here.'"

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Republicans are also far less likely to believe Daniels' implied allegation of having had an affair with Trump (she is currently barred from publicly discussing it due to a non-disclosure agreement but is trying to get out of the contract). Only 11 percent of Republicans consider her story to be credible, compared to 36 percent of independents and 70 percent of Democrats. By contrast, 44 percent of Republicans believe her story is not credible and 30 percent think they haven't learned enough to say; those numbers are 15 percent and 36 percent for independents and 8 percent and 15 percent for Democrats, respectively.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer at Salon. He received a Master's Degree in History from Rutgers-Newark in 2012 and was awarded a science journalism fellowship from the Metcalf Institute in 2022.

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Conservatives Donald Trump Republican Party Stormy Daniels