Acton Institute Powerblog

Huck and the Evangelicals: A Match Made in Heaven?

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It’s fun to watch as layers are gradually peeled away from the conventional wisdom to reveal that the CW is, well, wrong. Old CW: Evangelicals are marching in lockstep behind Mike Huckabee; Emerging CW: Evangelicals are just as fragmented in their opinions at this point in the nominating process as anyone else.

Mr. Huckabee did well with churchgoers [in Michigan], but the bigger story is so did other Republicans. According to exit polls, of the 39% of Michigan voters in the GOP primary who described themselves as born-again or evangelical, Mr. Huckabee won 29%. A full 57% instead voted for either Mr. Romney (34%) or Mr. McCain (23%). Of those who said a candidate’s “religious beliefs matter a great deal or somewhat,” Mr. Romney won 36%, Mr. McCain 26% and Mr. Huckabee 25%…

…The conventional story line has also ignored the problem of Mr. Huckabee as a candidate. The former governor did well in Iowa in part because he surged late and stayed a few steps ahead of a critical examination of his positions and record. The evidence in South Carolina suggests that as religious voters have learned more about him — and as they’ve started to meditate on the economic and national-security stakes in this race — they’re taking a good, hard look around.

They’ve got plenty of choices. Mr. Thompson has been successfully pounding Mr. Huckabee in debates and ads as a “liberal” on economic and immigration. Mr. Romney, at a rally in Columbia on Wednesday, ran hard on his promise to “strengthen families.”

Even Mr. McCain — who is benefiting from this social-conservative dogfight (leaving him with much of the independent and moderate vote that went for him in 2000) — rolled into South Carolina with a belated pitch for the core Republican base. At an event in Greenville, the Arizonan unveiled an endorsement from conservative Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, and highlighted his pro-life record and his promises to appoint strictly conservative judges.

I suppose you could call me one of those evangelical voters, and I’ve never been sold on Huckabee – primarily because of economics and foreign policy. With all the media hype over Huckabee’s “evangelical-powered” Iowa win, I was beginning to feel a bit lonely. It’s nice to be able to look at the real numbers and find out that I was never really alone. But even beyond that, it’s nice to know that evangelical voters are not necessarily going to give a candidate a pass on taxes, big government and wartime policy simply because he or she is a Christian.

Marc Vander Maas


  • l couch

    these “religious” politicians are insane and the idiots who believe them and vote for them deserve them. They(the politicians) are doing nothing but pandering to these hate-filled so called self-styled christians for their vote.Haven’t they learned from the last 8 years? It is schizophrenic to be against abortion and then kill people by blowing up clinics, and to be against assisted suicide for someone who is in incredible pain from an incurable illness, and then send our young people overseas to be killed and to kill other human beings.It is a self-serving morality that condones such things, not Christianity. By the way i don’t see many of these “evangelicals” who are anti-abortion adopting any american orphans who are born drug addicted and/or brain damaged, no, they usually vote for someone who is going to cut funding for kids like that.

  • Bob Jones

    Mike Huckabee is our choice to be President; and, we’ll support him over the other candidates. As with Reagan and Bush II, Huckabee is being significantly underestimated by everyone. This will become evident as each primary occurs. Huckabee’s support will continue to build, even as the major establishment media and political control groups try to “contain” him. Let’s hope he gets Secret Service protection as soon as possible. The “best” future of the United States lies with Mike Huckabee at this point in history.