Evangelicals play a significant role in the Iowa electorate. In 2008 they overwhelmingly voted for Mike Huckabee. Huckabee is perceived by many as having won the vote by living and campaigning in Iowa exclusively and speaking to many churches and church groups prior to the caucuses. Many Iowans may also have voted for him because he was a Baptist minister. Iowans were impressed for sure. But it was not enough to propel him to the nomination. In fact by the time the process rolled around to Florida, the Huckabee share of voters was only 13%.
For this election cycle, evangelicals have the potential of having even less influence if they split their vote. Many of the candidates have evangelical appeal. Let me remind my fellow evangelicals what this election is and is not about. It is about voting for the next president. It is not about voting for your next pastor or someone who sounds like a pastor, whether or not he spoke at your church or church group. It is not about voting for someone based on their Biblical hermeneutics or exegesis. It is not about voting based on the candidates' families or their particular experiences with their children. It is not about voting based on how or where they grew up whether under poverty or prejudice. It is not about voting based on their trials and tribulations in life. All of these factors may seem important but are not compared to what is. All of the candidates believe in Christ, and have a Judeo-Christian worldview. What is important is what they will do in office and whether they have a good plan to implement.
The values that evangelicals hold dear are being attacked in our culture and in our government entities. The primary battleground within the government is the judicial branch where the decision making can subvert the will of the people. One candidate has a particularly bad record during his prior governance. That would be Mitt Romney. Romney's history on abortion is well known. But he also has a bad record with regard to the institution of marriage. Traditional marriage is under assault in Massachusetts. Romney appointed judges which did not hold to traditional views. He instructed local governments to issue same sex marriage licenses when they didn't have to. He could have fought the battle for traditional marriage but he did not.
Evangelicals rightly understand that their values are consistent with the US Constitution. But the judiciary is improperly using judicial rulings to claim extra constitutional meanings that do not exist. The judiciary is aiding and abetting those who would remove all cultural and historical references to God. Newt Gingrich has a plan to take on the judiciary at every level. Besides rolling back current liberal executive branch policies regarding abortion and nominating judges with originalist constitutional perspectives, the plan goes even further. This plan includes defending DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act) which was passed while Gingrich was Speaker. It also includes defending religious institutions from having to implement the radical equivocation imposed by atheist groups and individuals which don't allow religious exceptions based on conscience. The tools will include the potential of limiting federal judiciary jurisdictions, impeaching of judges who issue unconstitutional and arbitrary rulings, abolishing judgeships and courts, and limiting the spending power of particular courts. This is not just a plan to get back to pre Obama circumstances. It is a chance to return the whole federal government to a proper constitutional balance of powers. It is the kind of plan that will have real results on real people. Read the whole plan.
Let me quote from Gingrich's website:
The rejection of judicial supremacy and the reestablishment of a constitutional balance of power among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches will be an intense and difficult undertaking. It is unavoidable if we are going to retain American freedoms and American identity.
American freedoms and American identity are based on the Judeo-Christian values in which evangelicals believe. This will not be an easy battle but it helps to have a leader with a battle plan and a willingness to ride into the battle armed and loaded.
(See also: What Line Must Newt Gingrich Cross for Conservatives to Disown Him?)