During the third night of the Republican National Convention in July, Senator Ted Cruz, the runner-up in the Republican primary race, stood behind the lectern and refused to endorse Donald Trump as the Republican presidential nominee.
“Vote your conscience,” he urged the crowd, ignoring the boos and shouts of “We want Trump!”
It was a defiant move for a speaker at an event designed to unite the Republican party behind Trump, but in what has largely been considered one of the most contentious election seasons in recent memory, it wasn’t entirely surprising.
At the Democratic National Convention the following week, Hillary Clinton faced similar problems as hundreds of Bernie Sanders supporters protested her nomination.
Both incidents were symptomatic of just how conflicted Americans feel about the upcoming election. Faced with the choice between a reality TV star-businessman known for his fear-mongering rhetoric and a former first lady with a track record of not telling the truth, Americans aren’t thrilled with their choices.
A Barna study of registered American voters showed that 60 percent had an unfavorable view of Clinton and 69 had an unfavorable view of Trump, making them two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in history.
Christians are especially conflicted. While Donald Trump won the “evangelical” vote in the primaries and has been endorsed by faith leaders such as Jerry Falwell Jr. and James Dobson, he earned criticism from other prominent Christian leaders such as Russell Moore and Max Lucado. Clinton hasn’t fared any better. In a recent Reuters poll, almost 30 percent of “born-again” Christians said they wouldn’t vote for either of the major party candidates. Eleven percent of Christians between the ages of 18 and 29 said they wouldn’t vote at all.