In the run-up to the 2012 elections, beginning now with conservative candidates warming up in the bullpen, the evangelical vote remains a coveted prize.
According to The Washington Post, “Likely candidates have met with preachers, conservative Christians and religious leaning home-schoolers in South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa, where winning the evangelical vote is tantamount to winning the caucus” (The Washington Post, 5/26/2011).
To their sorrow, some candidates will discover that embracing conservative positions is not a given for evangelicals. Christianity Today studied this in 2008: “Exit polls say 26 percent of American voters called themselves evangelical or born-again Christians, and of these, 74 percent voted for McCain, with 25 percent voting for Obama. Another measure put the percentage of evangelicals at 23 percent, with 73 percent voting for McCain, 26 percent for Obama.” (Christianity Today, Nov. 5, 2008)