Some evangelicals in Republican Party are feeling left out, see no standard-bearer
- Many social conservatives say they feel politically isolated as the country seems to be hurtling to the left, with marijuana now legal in Colorado and gay marriage gaining ground across the nation.
They feel out of place in a GOP increasingly dominated by tea party activists and libertarians who prefer to focus on taxes and the role of government and often disagree with social conservatives on drugs or gay rights.
…“Values voters have been treated as the stepchildren of the family, while the party has wanted to get on with so-called more electorally popular ideas,” Bauer said. “The Republican base will not tolerate another candidate foisted upon us as a guy who can win.”
…Discontent among evangelicals could have implications for the GOP next year as campaigning for the presidential nomination escalates in early-voting states such as Iowa, where social conservatives are a major bloc.
Their presence could complicate matters for top-tier candidates such as Christie and Paul who want to remain viable in a general election but will feel pressure to appeal to religious voters.
A surge of support for more fiery contenders such as Carson or former senator Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) could turn candidate debates into a spectacle while pulling everyone to the right, affecting the party’s image more broadly.
…Their absence could mean fewer votes for the Republican nominee in closely contested swing states. And perhaps more important, it could also mean fewer campaign volunteers to staff phone banks and knock on doors. Active churchgoers can be among a campaign’s most effective ground army.
…The feelings of disaffection are a decade in the making. Social conservatives, who make up about 40 percent of the Republican electorate, according to polls, fell in love with George W. Bush in 2000. They mobilized for Bush’s reelection four years later after he endorsed a proposed constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. But many activists felt Bush’s team did not push hard enough on moral issues in his second term. Since then, evangelical Republicans have not coalesced enthusiastically around a viable contender for the presidency.
….But Terry has someone in mind for 2016: “I love Dr. Ben Carson. He has common sense and the Christian perspective.”
Many people attending the Rosenberg evening had no preferred candidate in mind for president or brought up Carson.
The African American former surgeon became a sensation in conservative circles in 2013 after proclaiming Obamacare was the “worst thing to happen to this nation since slavery.”