Alex Wagner Joins In MSNBC’s Iowa Caucus Evangelical-Bashing

MRC Latino | January 16, 2024
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ALEX WAGNER: Steve was pointing at the evangelical vote, which I've been fascinated by in recent weeks because the number of really esteemed reporters have been talking about the way in which the Trump coalition, the MAGA coalition, has absolutely just devoured the evangelical coalition. Iowa is kind of a case study in that. Michelle Goldberg talks about that, Tim Alberta’s new book talks about it, David French has talked about this phenomenon, and if you look at those entry polls, you know, as Steve points out, 55% of white born-again or evangelicals are going for Trump. That is an exponential increase from 2016. Do you consider yourself part of the MAGA movement, 78% going for Trump, that's not hugely surprising. But the overlap there, I think, is what, I mean, is so remarkable about this moment in American politics, right? Bob Vander Plaats, who is a kingmaker in Iowa politics, an evangelical, and very much a mouthpiece for the evangelical vote in Iowa, endorses Ron Desantis. It clearly does not matter. Evangelical America is behind Donald Trump. And that sort of gets to the roots of what Trumpism is now. You know, we were told in 2016 that evangelicals made their beds with Trump because they wanted to have a Supreme Court that was modeled- an evangelically conservative model. Well, they got that. But it seems like their affiliation with Trump and MAGA-ism runs deeper than that. And you know, David French has articulated this point beautifully. It’s- it’s- the Trumpism in some way has become religion for a certain section of the American electorate-- and especially for evangelicals. That it's not about the virtue anymore. It's about the vice that Trump expresses. And I think you see that playing out in Iowa where the evangelical vote is key. It is central to what is going to unfold tonight. And it is very much a group of people that find that Trump is, in some ways, a second coming. It's why Trump is taking out ads like the one that came out, I think, a week ago, called “God made Trump”. There is a distinctly religious undertone to his campaigning nationally. And I think you see that playing out in Iowa, right? The numbers do not lie, Rachel. And I find it really a spectacularly interesting thing, if not a downright curious thing.