Religious Conservatives Struggle to Influence GOP Nomination
This year their tide finally begins to recede, but as I learned during the great RINO hunt 2004-2008, the GOP’s religious right is indefatigable in their zealotry and hateful passion. If the hard religious rights fails this year they will simply rebrand and be back again next year, perhaps just a little less overtly.
They chased all moderates out of party during that RINO hunt and now they are stuck; a group that can win local, state, and regional, but one that never does well on the national stage.
IF the GOP hopes to get back to relevance then they must begin to recognize that the loudest and most strident voices are not always the best to listen to.
After 30 years of burgeoning political clout, the Christian right has struggled to find its place in an election season in which the economy has replaced the culture war.
Its backers can’t agree on a GOP nominee, its issues aren’t defining the debate and its national leaders seem to have lost influence over the flock.
How that plays out will affect fortunes not only of Republicans in their fight against President Barack Obama this fall but also may swing the outcome of many congressional races.
And their votes, which have been split among the GOP field, will be up for grabs again Tuesday in the Florida primary.
William Martin, a Rice University professor and author of a book about the rise of the religious right, “With God On Their Side,” said evangelicals unhappy with their choices have to decide:
Will they remain political purists (and stay home in November if they don’t like the nominee) or pursue a pragmatic course with a flawed candidate who can win the White House?
Martin said that in the end, he expects pragmatism to prevail.