Latest Trump lie: Evangelicals didn’t vote for Romney

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Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at an American Renewal Project event at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, August 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at an American Renewal Project event at the Orlando Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, August 11, 2016. Photo courtesy of REUTERS/Eric Thayer

Today Donald Trump smacked a roomful of evangelical pastors in Orlando with this:

Honestly, you did not vote for Romney. Had you voted for Romney, it would have been much closer. You did not vote for Romney. Evangelicals, religion, did not get out and vote. And I don’t know why. Whatever the reason, I’m not sure why.

That’s nonsense. In 2012, white evangelicals constituted 26 percent of of the electorate and voted for Romney over Obama 78 percent to 21 percent. In 2008, they constituted 26 percent of the electorate and voted for McCain over Obama 74 percent to 24 percent. In 2004, they constituted 23 percent of the electorate and voted for Bush over Kerry 78 percent to 21 percent.

In other words, white evangelicals turned out and voted for Romney at rates equal to or greater than they did for the two previous GOP presidential candidates. Who knows if Trump knew he was making a false claim? Certainly he was fibbing for effect when he claimed not to “know why.”

“I’m having a tremendous problem in Utah,” he told the pastors. “Utah is a different place. Is anybody here from Utah? I didn’t think so.” (Laughter) He knows perfectly well why evangelicals might not have voted for a Mormon. And he’s sucking up to them by implying that the Mormons are against him. Honestly.