The Values Half of the GOP

Values Voters

Written by Tony Perkins, FRC Action

Over the years, left-wing pundits have eagerly looked for any and every opportunity to eulogize what they call the “religious right.”  But the movement to advance these timeless values can’t be buried in one election cycle or by five lawyers on the U.S. Supreme Court.  These values aren’t going away nor are the millions of voters who use them to guide their vote.   You only need to look at the crowded GOP presidential field and their persistent efforts to win the support of social conservatives.   In September, eight of the candidates spoke at the Values Voter Summit including Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Rick Santorum, and Donald Trump.

These candidates know values voters are key to any successful GOP campaign strategy and the data backs it up.  This weekend, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) released a new polling analysis that flies in the face of those eager to proclaim the demise of the values voter.  The WSJ/NBC News pollsters combed through three of their last three polls and concluded that values voters (or those the Journal describes as the “staunchest opponents of abortion and gay marriage”) make up 47 percent of the GOP electorate.  These voters make up an even greater proportion in the early primary states.  The WSJ divides the rest of the GOP into moderate, libertarian and tea party categories.

Far from being “dead,” I believe the values movement is finding new life in the next generation – a point that I drive home in my new book No Fear: Real Stories of a Courageous New Generation Standing for Truth.  Leading the values movement is a concern over the threat to religious liberty.  Barna Research recently reported that a whopping 56% of practicing Christian millennials said they are “very concerned about the state of religious liberty in America — up 37% from just three years ago. That’s even more alarm than their Baby Boomer parents registered.   As militant secularists and LGBT activists attempt to drive orthodox Christian beliefs from the public discourse, religious liberty is becoming an umbrella issue that covers a number of policy concerns.   Look for religious liberty to continue to rank near the top of issues addressed by the conservative GOP presidential candidates and know that there is a reason – Republican primary voters care about it.


This article was originally posted at FRCAction.org

 

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