A "silent majority" that supported Donald Trump in his 2016 and 2020 presidential runs is now quietly bowing out, Vanity Fair reports.
The University of Chicago Divinity School's magazine reported that nearly 81% of "self-identifying white evangelical voters" voted for Trump in 2016.
However, despite Trump keeping several promises to evangelical voters during his term — including nominating conservative judges to the Supreme Court and successfully overturning Roe v. Wade as a result — it may not be enough to win the voting bloc over again.
Bob Vander Plaats, a noted evangelical pastor, said "there's a lot of people who share a lot of our similar thoughts but don't want to go on record."
Last month, Washington Times Columnist Everett Piper penned an article in which she expressed that Trump is "hurting . . . not helping" evangelicals. She said "the take-home of this past week is simple: Donald Trump has to go."
"If he's our nominee in 2024, we will get destroyed," Piper added.
Recently James Robinson, a prominent televangelist, compared Trump to a "little elementary schoolchild."
Although many evangelical leaders are not thrilled about another Trump run, some are indeed intrigued by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' potential run, as he was recently a featured speaker at the conservative Faith & Freedom Coalition's Road to Majority conference and endorsed by evangelical pastor Tom Ascol.
Other candidates Vander Plaats mentioned he's willing to support, if they ran, include Mike Pence, Tim Scott, Ted Cruz, Mike Pompeo and Nikki Haley.
Even with drastically shifted views, and their newfound support of other possible candidates, Vanity Fair reports that it is still too early to confirm whether Trump has completely lost their support as some leaders continue to stand by him.
Texas pastor and former faith adviser to the Trump White House Robert Jeffress told Vanity Fair he was "one of the only and first megachurch pastors supporting President Trump during the primary." He said "most were divided among a plethora of other candidates. But as soon as they saw Trump beginning to gain momentum they coalesced around him, and I think the difference in 2024 is that people will coalesce around him much sooner than last time."
On the contrary, an evangelical leader who chose not to be named said he has "no doubt" that if Trump is the GOP 2024 candidates, they will "get crushed in the general."