New Poll: Trump's Numbers Up with Evangelical Voters

Dr. Robert Jeffress, well-known pastor of First Baptist Dallas, has introduced Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at several rallies. He even appeared with Trump this past weekend in Iowa.

But Jeffress told NBC 5 he is not endorsing Trump.

"I have been asked to pray for and introduce Mr. Trump at a couple of events, and I was happy to do that. And I stand by every word I said. I think Donald Trump could make a great president of the United States. I think there are others who could make a great president as well," said Jeffress.

A new NBC News/SurveyMonkey online poll shows a shift in support from evangelical voters.

Trump gets 37 percent of evangelical support, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is second with 20 percent support.

Jeffress discussed why he thinks Trump is seeing this support.

"Forty-two percent of evangelicals in America are supporting Donald Trump – not because they believe he is the best candidate to lead Bible studies in the oval office, but because they believe he might be the candidate to have the best chance of defeating Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders," said Jeffress.

"Quite frankly I think some people are saying maybe Donald Trump isn't someone who holds all of our values, but at least if he can slow down the downward death spiral of our country, that might be worth something rather than having Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, who will continue to take this country in the direction it is going," Jeffress added.

Trump got a boost Tuesday when Jerry Falwell Jr., the president of Liberty University, endorsed him for president.

Cruz announced his candidacy for president at Liberty University last year. Cruz was on the campaign trail Tuesday with former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who endorsed Cruz on Monday.

Cruz brushed off Falwell's endorsement of Trump, saying he is the true conservative in the race.

"We are so frustrated with campaign conservatives – people who tell us what we want to hear but then go to Washington and don't do what they say," Cruz said.

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