Evangelicals are giving Mitt Romney the cold shoulder, consistently rejecting him in favor of one of his rivals in state after state. Why? Evangelical leaders point to Romney’s past record on values issues (which hurts him especially when contrasted with Rick Santorum’s long-time record on such issues), and say that he also needs to work harder to convey that he shares Evangelicals’ passion about values issues. Still, if Romney is the nominee, it’s likely all will be forgiven (after all, Romney’s far better than President Obama) and evangelicals will turn out to vote:
“McCain similarly did very poorly among evangelicals throughout the primary,” remarks [Ralph] Reed, pointing out that evangelicals preferred Mike Huckabee. And McCain had done himself no favors with evangelicals by calling Jerry Falwell one of “the agents of intolerance” in the United States in 2000.
“Going into the general against Obama, you would have thought this was going to be a problem,” Reed says of McCain’s difficulties. Instead, McCain — who had apologized to Falwell in 2006 — won evangelicals more handily than one of the most religious candidates in recent history. “By the time we got to November,” says Reed, “McCain won a higher percentage of the evangelical vote than George W. Bush did in 2000.”
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