Donald Trump's surge into the lead of the Republican presidential primary can be credited partly to two groups he has rarely engaged: social conservatives and evangelical Christians.

"Trump is tapping into deep-seated anger in America, a nation founded by Christians 'for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith,'" said David Lane, a prominent national evangelical political organizer. "He's tapping into something at the grassroots, precinct level of America. America is starving for moral, principled leadership. I hope that Donald Trump brings that."

A leader in the social conservative movement, meanwhile, said Trump's promise to restore "order" on the border with Mexico has wowed voters so disgusted with Washington that they have given up voting.

"Trump speaks up, lays it out in plain language and the 'silent majority,' who've checked out of politics because neither party has taken action to secure our border, all of a sudden surge back into the political conversation," he said on background.

And Trump is responding. Sources said conservative and evangelical leaders are reaching out to the billionaire tycoon, and he's listening. Their goal is to firm up his positions on key issues such as abortion and gay marriage. "In that, it is the same as with Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio or Rand Paul," said one source.

But maybe more importantly his bold and sometimes rude comments, like 'dissing Sen. John McCain's time as a Vietnam War POW, are catching the eyes of voters who want a forceful national leader, even if they don't always agree with that person.

"What the D.C. Establishment still does not get is that Trump is 'The Market Test' for how angry our base voters are," emailed a conservative advisor to several members of Congress. "Even a seriously flawed guy like Trump who does not use the typical 'filters' before he speaks can zoom to the top. Our voters are furious with GOP leadership not even attempting to stop Obama, not even attempting to fight Obama," said the source.

"If Trump is willing to learn about politics and discipline himself, he might well be our nominee," added a conservative adviser close to Trump's team. "And if so, might very well be our next president."

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at