Catholics

2020 Election in NC: Evangelical voters could be crucial in North Carolina

In a hotly contested battleground, the Trump camp seeks to shore up voters of faith while Biden hopes to peel off enough to make a difference.

WASHINGTON — Shannon Dingle, a Christian and a mother of six from Raleigh, North Carolina, says she voted for a presidential candidate who supports abortion rights for the first time four years ago.

Now, in 2020, she is among a critical bloc of voters that Joe Biden’s campaign has been targeting to try to cut into President Donald Trump’s overwhelming advantage with white evangelicals.

“I used to be that single-issue voter who was pro-life,” Dingle told NBC News. “I’m a suburban mom, and I’m tired of Trump speaking for me as a suburban mom, as if that means I agree with him.”

Both campaigns are trying to get the most from evangelical voters in the waning hours of the campaign, though with two very different messages. While the Trump campaign has urged evangelicals to focus on policies, Biden’s allies are trying to peel off some of the president’s key supporters by asking them to judge the candidates on their personalities and character.

“Trump’s character is not some set-aside that can be separated from his leadership as president,” said Michael Wear, who started the Not Our Faith Super PAC to campaign against Trump in the two weeks prior to Election Day. “It affects the policies he’s advancing.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Higgins, co-founder of Non-Essential, a pro-Trump get-out-the vote platform for Christians, said his message to any of the president’s supporters who are wavering, or thinking about not casting a ballot in Tuesday’s election, is to focus on his record.

“Occasionally, you still do hear the talk of somebody saying, ‘Well, I don’t know if I’m gonna vote,’” Higgins said. “And for those people that do feel that way, we’re just spreading the messaging of vote policy, not personality.”

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