I’ve shared that evangelical Christians, widely credited with establishing the Bush presidency (I’m so embarrassed), are not happy with either Mitt Romney or Rudy Giuliani. This is leading, according to the NY Times blog The Caucus, to a potential revolt led by Focus on the Family’s James Dobson and Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council to support a third-party candidate, though who is not clear.
A revolt of Christian conservative leaders could be a significant setback to the Giuliani campaign because white evangelical Protestants make up a major portion of Republican primary voters. But the threat is risky for the credibility of the Christian conservative movement as well. Some of its usual grass-roots supporters could still choose to support even a pro-choice Republican like Mr. Giuliani, either because they dislike the Democratic nominee even more or because they are worried about war, terrorism and other issues.
For months, Christian conservatives have been escalating their warnings about the risk that nominating Mr. Giuliani could splinter the party. Dr. Dobson wrote a column declaring that he would waste his vote before casting it for either Mr. Giuliani or a Democrat who supports abortion rights like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. Richard Land, the top public policy official of the Southern Baptist Convention, has said that nominating a Republican candidate who supports abortion rights would make white evangelical votes âa jump ballâ between the Republicans and Democrats, with other issues taking the fore.