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January 21, 2012

Gingrich Wins South Carolina, Finding Support Among Evangelicals

Romney received as many evangelical votes as Santorum, the candidate backed by many social conservatives.

Newt Gingrich won the Republican presidential primary in South Carolina with the strong support of evangelicals. According to exit polls, two-thirds of voters described themselves as evangelical or born-again Christians, 44 percent of which voted Gingrich. Their support turned the first Southern primary from a close race to a runaway victory for Gingrich.


Gingrich found support from evangelicals despite efforts by evangelical leaders in the social conservative movement to rally behind Rick Santorum. Fearing that social conservatives might split their voting power, a group of 150 met last weekend in an attempt to coalesce behind a single candidate. Evangelicals in South Carolina did come together—just for a different candidate. In fact, only 21 percent of evangelicals backed Santorum, the same percentage that voted for Mitt Romney.

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins, who served as spokesman for the Texas gathering, said on MSNBC tonight that he did not expect those in the group to switch to Gingrich. While Perkins said there was a willingness to forgive Gingrich's less-than-perfect personal life, Gingrich's character was still an issue. “There is concern over whether or not he would be that consistent and stable leader,” Perkins said.

Gingrich won, in part, because he was able to win over both religious conservatives and those for whom religion is less important in the voting booth. Voters who said the religious beliefs of candidates mattered “a great deal” backed both Gingrich (45 percent) and Santorum (32 percent).

Among those for whom religion is only matters “somewhat,” Gingrich’s support remained high but Santorum's dropped to only 15 percent. Gingrich also did well among those who said religion mattered little or not all. He received around a third of these less religiously minded voters, nearly equaling Romney's share (39 percent).

Gingrich did well throughout the state. To win, he needed Romney to do poorly in along the coast and in the more populous counties in the state. He won counties with some of the major metropolitan areas like Columbia and Charleston by narrow margins. In the more conservative highlands, Gingrich was able to easily make up the difference and seal the victory.



If Obama & his democrats have the Audacity to work against Christians in a Christian country, then let it be the Christian belief that unseat him & his people of their posts & powers.

To Abey:
How are "Obama and the democrats work[ing] against Christians in a Christian country"? Could you be more specific? Only realize that there are many committed evangelical Christians, of which I am one, who seriously disagree with you based on the same Bible that you read as well.

heck ya!! GO NEWT!!! ....i just realized how big of a BOSS Newt is.... and i quote:
"Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about America's enemies...KILL THEM"
LOL...come on, he sounds like the ex--cali governator/terminator .. I LOVE IT!

Feed the hungry, visit the prisoner, befriend the prostitute, give up all you have, pay your taxes...when we do all that we'll be a Christian country that actually emulates Our Lord. I don't see too much about that in the Republican platform, though.

Sad day for evangelicals! Sacrificing ethical values on the altar of political expediency.

why is CT, like the rest of MSM, ignoring Ron Paul? he's the only Baptist running. of course he's a real Baptist who believes in Soul Freedom, Church Freedom, Bible Freedom, and Religious Freedom, not an 'Evangelical' power broker or king maker.
i don't understand why CT is a part of that? i JUST unsubscribed from the NYTimes because it continuously left Ron Paul out of articles and headlines for the last month.

RP most likely won't win, but his ideas will because they are not his own. they are the ideals of the new emergent America echoing on the principles on which it was founded. and, anyone following the debates, can see that all the other candidates are parroting many of these ideas. almost verbatum they're quoting RP on Liberty, small government, State's rights, spending is the tax, and other fiscal ideas. however, they have yet to adopt freedom for our foreign policies because the GOP social Right-ness appeals to the war-mongering self centered America-first citizens —the ones who believe you can only love you neighbor in this country, or, if in another one, you have to dominate him first. (see Vema's post above)

this time America 2.0 will not have the same issues of slavery, women's rights, or minority discrimination, but be faced with our addiction to war, weak money, novel pleasures, and shunning personal responsibility. it is the reemergence of Freedom, the idea that we are made in the image of God, that shall be a foundation for dealing with these new problems.

imagine Jesus returns and sets up his literal kingdom on Earth. how much would he tax you? what kind of entitlement programs would he fund. who would he bomb? would he not honor individual freedoms that allow the Holy Spirit to work on hearts instead of force to control their bodies?

perhaps the other candidates are good well-intentioned Christian men, but one can see the lack of spiritual maturity in how they think about the issues and personally respond to each other. Ron Paul is the only candidate for America that carries the message of Christ and not of bloated human egos seeking to be its personal savior instead. at the very least he's deserves equal treatment by the MSM, but to see him consistently ignored here in CT and by the Evangelical establishment is for me the most disappointing.

shall even the elect be deceived by such GOP rhetoric? a Christianity rooted in a forceful government, either fiscally or socially, is a broken one. these are the Christianity's of Catholics and Mormons, but not of the kind America was founded on.

Why do so many evangelicals vote for a person who cheated on his two wives before he married this one? He did this while he was still married. If you deal with your marriage vow like that how will he deal with the presidential vow? Next to that Newt is a Washington insider, a political animal that will not bring much progress. He will not stand a chance against Obama.
* an Evangelical Christian from Europe *

"heck ya!! GO NEWT!!! ....i just realized how big of a BOSS Newt is.... and i quote: "Andrew Jackson had a pretty clear cut idea about America's enemies...KILL THEM" LOL...come on, he sounds like the ex--cali governator/terminator .. I LOVE IT!" Posted by: Austin Hoffman at January 22, 2012

Andrew - I don't know if you were being sarcastic. I hope so. Just in case you weren't, I'll refer you to a different quote about enemies... "But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt 5:44-45)

Call me crazy but I think Jesus' clear cut ideas about our enemies should perhaps be prioritized over Andrew Jackson's.

Ron Paul is the only true Christian in the pack - the others are bogus, big-money Pharisees, and will only bring further destruction to the United States and its people..

Caleb, when Jesus sets up his kingdom in the new heavens and the new earth, the tax is 100%, and I (and you) will be entitled to everything we need, and expected to provide for others everything they need. there are some things I like about Ron Paul, but this "stand on your own" ("you're on your own, baby") perspective is not biblical. If people want to vote for that, they're free to - but then, I'm free to vote for someone who will support Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and - God willing, someday - publically-provided health care.

Unfortunately, I think Gingrich won in South Carolina among Evangelicals, because Evangelicals are looking for a good smack-down - first of Romney, next of Obama. Whatever that means "Evangelical" is, I don't think it has much to do with Jesus. Sadly.

You are correct Sue!