Young evangelicals could be key in GOP race in Florida

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Each candidate speaks to a different interest of the evangelical perspective, and each is getting a share of the pocketbook and family-values vote," said [Joel] Hunter, author of A New Kind of Conservative.

And this has turned the Republican campaign into a free-for-all scramble for the votes of white evangelicals -- a pivotal bloc of 25 percent to 35 percent of Floridians likely to vote in the GOP primary.

A Mason-Dixon Florida Poll conducted this week showed 27 percent of self-described "born again" voters backed Huckabee, a Southern Baptist minister who combined a "FairTax" campaign pitch aimed at blue-collar voters with conservative "biblical" values to win a victory in the Iowa caucuses.

But 28 percent favored former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who once made much of his anti-abortion, anti-gay-marriage credentials but is now touting himself as a businessman who can fix a "broken" Washington establishment.

And 23 percent chose Arizona Sen. John McCain, a maverick conservative and supporter of the Iraq war who in 2000 blasted some evangelical leaders as "agents of intolerance."

Only New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who is twice-divorced and a moderate on social issues, including abortion rights, seemed out of consideration, with 9 percent

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Filed under: * Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesEvangelicals

Posted January 28, 2008 at 5:49 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

1. bob carlton wrote:

What a hopeful headline this is, in light of the fact that hegemony that Dobson & McCain presided over has been broken.

January 28, 7:39 pm | [comment link]
2. Sidney wrote:

Religion has played a distinct if low-key role in the Florida campaign so far, with all the candidates (except Romney, who is Mormon) visiting large Protestant and Roman Catholic churches and appearing on religious radio and television.

Wow, that’s interesting - Romney doesn’t visit churches.

January 29, 8:54 pm | [comment link]
3. libraryjim wrote:

That’s right, Sidney, it’s against his religion to attend any religious service (they call us ‘gentiles) other than LDS.

January 30, 1:02 pm | [comment link]
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