How the Pope helped Trump

Pope Francis said today that Donald Trump is not a Christian. I can only assume the Pope has secretly cut a deal with The Donald.

"Pope. Donald here. I need you to give me some crap about the wall."


"Just, uh, call me a Muslim or something. Make it look sincere, ya know?"


So the Pope stands at the U.S.-Mexico border and says anyone who wants to build a wall "is not a Christian."


First, I am Catholic. And I actually studied the teachings of the church pretty earnestly for a few years. (I said "studied," not "obeyed.") I don't remember the part where the Pope gets to decide who's Christian. He can declare Catholics excommunicated, but he can't undo a valid baptism. I could be wrong here, but I'm pretty sure I'm right.

Second, Vatican City is surrounded by a wall. Vatican City is a country. So if a wall around your country makes you not a Christian, the Pope and everybody who lives in Vatican City is not a Christian.

Third, since when are national borders subject to religious review? Every country has the right to control entry to its territory. It's why people make countries.

Maybe the Pope meant to say something else. Maybe he said what he meant. The effect will be to boost Donald Trump. And, despite my tongue in cheek opening, I'm pretty sure that's not what Francis intended.

The reason the Pope's comment will boost Trump is simple. First, immigration is the defining issue of the Trump candidacy. Most Americans want an end to illegal immigration. We're with Trump on this whether we're Trump voters or not. An outsider telling us not to stanch illegal immigration instantly loses credibility, no matter what kind of hat he wears. Second, saying Trump "is not a Christian" presents a theological challenge that the Pope might not be able to back up. Every American Christian, Catholic or not, has to wonder if they hold positions for which the Pope might expel them from Christendom.

This round goes to Trump. And Pope Francis might want to stick to the script.

Looks like I'm not alone. Silvio Canto writes on American Thinker. (H/T Cousin Carol)

And Dilbert creator Scott Adams expected Vatican to walk back Pope's comments.

Which the Vatican did.

And, finally, this remarkable analysis by Mollie Hemingway. The Pope might see if Ms. Hemingway is available as communications director, Lutheran and all.

Analysis of Donald Trump Poll

Last week's poll asked for your degree of support for Donald Trump's candidacy. This poll received far less attention than the Missouri GOP Governor poll of the previous week, as only 60 people responded. On the plus side, there was no detectable cheating on the Trump poll.

One Word: Polarization

Histogram of Trump Poll

Respondents had choices from 0 to 5 to indicate their degree of support for Trump, with 0 = No Support and 5 = Total Support. Votes of 0, 1, or 2 are considered to Oppose Trump, 3, 4, or 5 Support Trump.

Key Findings

  • 70 percent of all votes fell into the extreme buckets:
    • 37 percent show No support for Trump
    • 33 percent show Total support for Trump
  • 50 percent of votes fell into the bottom half of support, 50 percent in the top half of support
  • Voters who do not support Trump (0, 1, or 2) show more conviction than voters who do support Trump (3, 4, or 5)
    • Of those who do not support Trump, 73 percent chose the most extreme position (0)
    • Among Trump supporters, 67 percent chose the most extreme position (5)
  • 52 percent all voters came from Missouri,amuch higher percentage than in the Governor poll (weird). Trump is NOT popular in Missouri:
    • 42 percent of Missourians show No support for Trump
    • 16 percent of Missourians show Total support for Trump
    • 61 percent of Missourians oppose Trump to some degree
    • 39 percent of Missourians support Trump to some degree

Again, here's the link to my raw data if you'd like to investigate further.


This is not a scientific poll, but it does have some value. Those who chose Total Support (16 percent of Missourians, 33 percent overall) will likely support Trump no matter what. Were The Donald to launch in Independent campaign, he'll take a lot of Republican voters with him, a la 1992.

Trump has earned a high level of passion from his supporters. In other words, his support might be an inch wide, but it's a mile deep. If Trump is not the GOP nominee, his supporters might defect by not voting at all in November 2016.

Combining Trump's weird support with Hillary's losing support among Democrats every day (I can't believe I'm about to write these words), the stars could be aligning for (gag) President Bernie Sanders. Yes, Trump could help elect America's first openly socialist president.


As with everything I do, the margin of error in this post is 99%.

New Poll

This week's poll is all about National Service.