“It’s one thing to make a passing comment to a neighbor or a woman in the gym, but if I lose my friends from 20 years, I’m not going to have any friends,” she said.
Mr. Biden has hoped to peel off even a small portion of evangelical voters. After the 2018 midterm elections, when Democrats earned big victories in the House, social conservatives were forced to confront the limits of their base. Any decline, even if small, would be notable given the decades-long alliance between Republicans and conservative Christians, which has only grown stronger during Mr. Trump’s four years in office.
Mr. Biden’s campaign has placed ads on Christian radio stations, hired a white evangelical man to lead its faith outreach and tried to assuage evangelicals who feel the Democratic Party has been hostile to their faith. Earlier this week Mr. Biden made his case in an op-ed for The Christian Post, an evangelical publication that has printed editorials in support of Mr. Trump.
But the level of resistance also feels similar to the final weeks of 2016. Then, like this fall, a few prominent white Christians, such as Russell Moore of the Southern Baptist Convention, broke with the evangelical mainstream. There were opinion pieces urging white evangelicals to expand their views of what it means to be “pro-life.”
White evangelicals are a critical voting bloc because of their commitment to voting. They make up about 15 percent of the general population, according to the Public Religion Research Institute, but they typically make up about 25 percent of the electorate.
Mr. Trump has also been able to draw in some new conservative Christian supporters. In Scottsdale, Ariz., Lael Beier, who is Catholic and works in interior design, did not vote for president four years ago because she did not trust Mr. Trump’s morals and did not support Hillary Clinton. But even though she does not see her self as a Trump supporter, this time she cast her vote for him.
She appreciates that he has opposed abortion, named conservative justices to the Supreme Court, and moved the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem, all policy moves that Mr. Trump’s evangelical power brokers hope will increase the support from his base.