Religious-Right Leaders Say Santorum, But Voters Flock to Gingrich
Interesting analysis here. In the Neo Confederate GOP south, the race rests on questions of jobs & race rather than along the hard social issue lines drawn by religious right leadership.
What happened to the evangelical vote in South Carolina?
Just last week, Rick Santorum received a much-vaunted endorsement representing the collective wisdom of more than 100 conservative evangelical leaders ranging from Tony Perkins to James Dobson to Gary Bauer. Where their benediction fell, their flocks were sure to go—or that was the idea.
If evangelical leaders can’t get their chosen candidate a victory here, where can they do it?, Mark Wilson / Getty Images
But despite a second round of social-conservative support for Santorum in the run-up to South Carolina—including pushes from direct-mail guru Richard Viguerie and WorldNetDaily editor and birther-conspiracy theorist Joseph Farah—Santorum finished a distant third on Saturday.
In the social conservative bellwether state in the January primary gauntlet, 65 percent of South Carolina voters were self-identified evangelicals or born-again Christians. If the leaders of the religious right can’t deliver a victory for their chosen candidate here, where can they do it?
The failure to convert endorsement into actionable support raises a real question: just how much juice do they have? Is their self-appointed leadership role inside the GOP more bark than bite, perpetuated by a compliant media looking for stereotypes and soundbites?