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The Myth of Missing Evangelicals

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U.S. Republican Presidential candidate and Senator of Texas Ted Cruz speaks at the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition's forum in Waukee, Iowa, April 25, 2015.   REUTERS/Jim Young

As they plot strategy and evaluate candidates for 2016, too many Republicans embrace the notion that the key to victory lies with hordes of disillusioned Christian evangelicals for whom today’s GOP isn’t nearly conservative enough. Long before Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, made this assumption the explicit basis for his campaign, this comforting idea percolated through talk radio and activist cadres, with frequent reference to the three million (or four million, or six million) “missing conservatives” who failed to show up to support Mitt Romney and thereby doomed his hapless, “mushy moderate” campaign….

Read the full column at USATODAY.com.

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  1. Virginia M. Collins  •  May 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    You are absolutely correct regarding Rand Paul. He is absolutely the worst Republican running for president. I question his Republican label. He is an egotistic, small minded
    person who would be a disaster as president.

    • oliver grant  •  May 22, 2015 at 3:01 pm

      Rand Paul is the son of Ron Paul, who is a frequent contributor and quoted by Iran’s PressTV and Russia Today, and blames the United States for Al Qaeda. You figure out how many degrees of separation are there to bad guys.

  2. jguy  •  May 22, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Or is it possible that the “Christian conservative” has changed and while
    being “religiously” conservative have drifted socially to the left of their “moral
    majority” parents? Issue confusion can make not voting more attractive
    than casting a vote that is personally questionable.

    • Sean Flynn  •  Jun 4, 2015 at 8:24 am

      Evangelical Christians ARE voting, and at a rate much higher than the rest of the population.

      The problem (for Evangelical Christians, anyway) is that they are a declining force in American politics.

      From the USA Today article in question:

      “Actually, one of the nation’s most influential organizations promoting those values, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, conducted a survey after Obama’s 2012 victory in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio and reported evangelical turnout between 75% and 80% — one of the strongest turnouts for any segment of the electorate. Moreover, in spite of the fears that Christian conservatives wouldn’t support a Mormon from Massachusetts, national exit polls showed self-identified “white, evangelical or born-again Christians” comprising 26% of the overall electorate, as large a proportion as ever before.”
      “In 2004, when George W. Bush placed special emphasis on drawing active church-goers to the polls, white evangelicals amounted to 23% of all voters but enabled Bush to achieve his margin of victory over John Kerry. Bush campaigned as the most outspokenly Christian candidate of recent years and drew an impressive 79% of the born-again vote — precisely the proportion Romney won in 2012, whatever his weaknesses as a candidate.”

  3. phil broms  •  May 22, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    If God given (natural) rights are granted by the Creator of the Universe, of everything, they may not be abridged or taken away by governments. If the Creator is a natural force, then our rights are not subject to any religious beliefs. We are free to harbor and to practice our various religions, yet those beliefs that rule over the minds of those who so choose, do not rule over our natural rights. If there is One Creator of the Universe, then all religions are subject to that one God. Beliefs and in Jesus, Buddha, Mohamed and all other beliefs and philosophies are subject to the Creator, so if we say that we are a Judeo-Christian Nation then those religious beliefs are all subject to the one God of the Universe. A politician is on thin ice if he is trying to convince the People that Jesus is in charge of us all, though espousing a belief in The Creator and the freedom to practice our personal religions is sound.

  4. Donna Marie Williamson  •  May 22, 2015 at 1:36 pm

    I think your statistics back up what I already suspected. I am a conservative Roman Catholic. I am concerned with pro-life issues; protecting the traditional definition of marriage (I am all for equal rights for gays; I just want them to identify their unions as something other than marriage.) I am concerned with religious liberty. I might vote for the most conservative candidate in a primary whom I believe could be a viable opponent in the regular election, but I will vote for a Republican for president over a Democrat whoever that might be, unless he/she does not represent my conservative values at all. And I will absolutely vote, even if the Republican candidate is not all that I would wish, because a moderate conservative would represent me better than a liberal Democrat. It would be the lesser of two evils decision.

  5. Darwin Wyatt  •  May 25, 2015 at 1:48 am

    Unless I’m mistaken marriage was to tie a man to his children . As such today’s i ter

  6. Diane Joy Baker  •  May 25, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    I heard (on Dennis Prager’s show) that only fifty percent of evangelicals are even registered to vote. It would be interesting to find out why, for it would be vital for 2016.

    • Sean Flynn  •  Jun 4, 2015 at 8:21 am

      From the USA Today article in question:

      “Actually, one of the nation’s most influential organizations promoting those values, Ralph Reed’s Faith and Freedom Coalition, conducted a survey after Obama’s 2012 victory in the key swing states of Florida and Ohio and reported evangelical turnout between 75% and 80% — one of the strongest turnouts for any segment of the electorate. Moreover, in spite of the fears that Christian conservatives wouldn’t support a Mormon from Massachusetts, national exit polls showed self-identified “white, evangelical or born-again Christians” comprising 26% of the overall electorate, as large a proportion as ever before.”

      “In 2004, when George W. Bush placed special emphasis on drawing active church-goers to the polls, white evangelicals amounted to 23% of all voters but enabled Bush to achieve his margin of victory over John Kerry. Bush campaigned as the most outspokenly Christian candidate of recent years and drew an impressive 79% of the born-again vote — precisely the proportion Romney won in 2012, whatever his weaknesses as a candidate.”

      It sounds to me like Dennis Prager is just making stuff up.

      Evangelical Christianity is a declining force in American politics, at a time when it is an increasingly force within the Republican Party.

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