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IRD: Evangelical Trump Endorsement Shows Religion's Ongoing Influence

"Religion, including Evangelicalism, remains central to the American soul and will be a major factor in this presidential campaign and many, many more in the future." -- Mark Tooley, IRD President

Contact: Jeff Walton, Institute on Religion & Democracy, 202-682-4131, 202-413-5639 cell, jwalton@TheIRD.org

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2016 /Christian Newswire/ -- As voters in Iowa prepare for next week's first-in-the-nation caucuses for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominations, pastors and other high-profile religious leaders are shaping the contests.

Rival campaigns invested early in outreach efforts to pastors in a state where more than a quarter of residents identify as Evangelical Christians. Among registered Republicans, the percentage is even higher.

IRD President Mark Tooley commented:

    "Jerry Falwell, Jr.'s endorsement of Donald Trump and the accompanying controversy illustrate the persistence of religion's influence, especially Evangelicalism, in American public life.

    "Falwell, whose father was a Religious Right founder, has been widely criticized by other Evangelicals for backing Trump. But the endorsement shows how diverse and decentralized American Evangelicalism has always been. Nobody speaks for it, it's constantly fluid, and often unpredictable.

    "Religion, including Evangelicalism, remains central to the American soul and will be a major factor in this presidential campaign and many, many more in the future. This dynamic religiosity is intrinsic to America's self-understanding."

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