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Who will evangelicals support in the primaries?

Since we’ve already discussed how "religious voters" might respond to a Giuliani candidacy, let’s talk about Fred Thompson and the evangelicals. Perhaps one of the reasons that his campaign hasn’t gotten much of (or is it more of?) a bump since its official launch is the evangelical disenchantment described in the article to which I linked above.

I suppose that I could respect Thompson’s "federalist" opposition to the Federal Marriage Amendment, but it’s not like judges are uniformly letting "the people" decide this matter. (Where have we heard about this combination of "popular sovereignty and judges before?)

But I am genuinely interested in where folks think evangelicals will gravitate during the primary season. I’m inclined to think that with a field full of "flawed" candidates, the social conservative/evangelical vote will be split.

At the moment, I’m somewhat less convinced than some that a Giuliani nomination will bring a third-party so-con challenger out of the woodwork. But I wouldn’t at all be surprised if some evangelicals dribbled over to the Democratic side in a Giuliani/Clinton race and more just stayed home. All things being equal, I think Catholics are the swing vote when you cut the electorate up by religion. But a drop in evangelical numbers on the Republican side would require an unimaginably large Catholic swing toward R to keep HRC out of the White House.

Discussions - 7 Comments

It's pretty clear that evangelicals, and the Republican base (to the extent that these are not the same), will get behind Mike Huckabee when things get serious.

Fred's finished. No bounce from his announcement, and his polls are already dropping. He has no chance in the first two states, and will likely be overwelmed by media bounce that other candidates get.

Giuliani continues to be suprisingly strong, but I still don't believe that he can go the distance. Romney is dropping like a rock, and McCain's revival won't be enough.

Huckabee is the by far the closest to the Republican base of any candidate, and his mastery of rhetoric makes him great on the stump. He'll win Iowa and South Carolina. The only danger is that with this nutty primary schedule, no one will get a majority.

Sorry, Clint ... I know Huckabee is your man, but there's no chance ... none whatever ... that Huckabee will be the nominee.

Evangelicals will probably stay home. Clinton will be elected president. The Senate and House will remain firmly Democrat. She'll get a chance to nominate at least one, perhaps two justices. They'll be hard-left liberals. They'll be confirmed. Evangelicals will wail. And they'll have nobody to blame but themselves.

The fools.

Fred's finished. No bounce from his announcement

He is leading the Republican race at present. That is an odd sort of "finished".

Huckabee is the by far the closest to the Republican base of any candidate

Not unless the base is socially and fiscally liberal. The man is a Carter clone.

From an evangelical standpoint, I'd say none of the candidates look very appealing. None of the major candidates at least.

Mind you, the same holds for most of the other constituiencies in the GOP.

Don, you offer a bleak, although not unreasonable outlook. However, I doubt evangelicals will sit out the primary; they might the general if a goof like Giuliani or Romney were to win the primary. So I'm hoping that Huckabee can win the primary and the Presidency.

John-What poll shows Fred leading? He is falling further behind Giuliani every day. His fumbling is embarrassing; he can't keep up on current events, and his campaign has already lost the "no-named-candidate" allure. Now that people are beginning to see Fred for who he really is and not what they dreamed of, he has nothing left to do but slowly slide down the hill-to the bottom.

Calling Huckabee a Carter clone is also extremely embarrassing. Carter is pro-choice, anti-gun, anti-war, abrasive, and pretty much the opposite of Huckabee in every respect. However, I note that they might share one similarity, electability.

I agree that, for an evangelical Christian like me, Huckabee seems to be the best hope for someone who genuinely shares my views.
I will be voting in the caucus for Huckabee, unless he is out before February 5, even though I know his chances are slim. Even he admitted that he has no chance unless one of the top three (now four?) candidates has a "You-tube moment" which propels him into the "First Tier." However, I think he is preparing himself well for this eventuality with his consistent appearances and fine performances in the debates. The focus groups in the debates register strongly with the way he talks about such things as the War in Iraq and American honor.
He also isn't as stiff and boring as someone like Brownback. I like the fact that he has a sense of humor and is self-deprecating. I believe that more attention could make him a contender. But he needs someone in the top tier to fail miserably to get it. McCain's recent numbers have shown that, though he is suffering from his stance on immigration, he remains in the race in part because of the attention that comes with being in the first tier.

Don, how is not wanting a pro choice candidate a foolish position? If we are ready to give up our core beliefs in Federalism and the Right to Life dosn't that make us no better than the Democrats, even if our candidate does has an R after his name?! Why on earth would I want a person who rejects conservative views as my president? Why would I vote for him?

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