Friday, October 05, 2007

Will Conservative Christians sink Republicans?

It's increasingly possible. They don't like Guilliani, aren't fond of McCain, are scared of Romney and haven't warmed to Thompson. None of the top tier candidates suit them. And James Dobson has already warned that he might lead his flock into a third party if he doesn't get a candidate he likes.

Kathleen Parker writes about their disdain for the top tier candidates, suggesting they get behind Romney now, rather than drawing it out.
Ultimately, Christian leaders (some of whom make off-the-record, supportive calls to Romney, I'm told) most likely will back the Mormon. But their actions meantime have hurt Romney as he tries to close the deal nationally.

If they were smarter, they'd embrace Romney as the one who can beat Hillary because he, more than anyone else, unites all wings of the party -- economic, security and social.
Joe Conason also has an article on this problem, saying approximately the same thing, without referring to Romney specifically.
Whether Dobson is serious about a third party or not may become clearer at his upcoming "Values Voters Summit," a mini-convention of religious-right activists that will convene in Washington on Oct. 20, with appearances by nearly every Republican presidential hopeful (except Giuliani and Thompson). The Republican Party won't be "finished" by the defection of the religious rightists -- as a few feverish partisans predict -- but they have the capacity to make what portends to be a bad year even worse.
There's an element of pride involved here - both the Liberal Base and the Conservative Christian Base are upset at their respective leaders/candidates. But the Conservative Base has had power and influence for 7-8 years now and so isn't as "hungry" as the Liberal Base. So while the Liberal Base might be willing to swallow a candidate like Clinton (who isn't really what they want), the Conservative Christians might feel capable of turning up their noses at a Guilliani.

We'll find out, I suppose.

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