Evangelicals settle on Santorum to beat Romney

Now that most of the social conservatives have dropped out of the race, the task that Evangelcial Christians in the GOP have taken on is to block Mitt Romney's nomination by getting behind one candidate.

About 150 activists gathered at a Texas ranch on Saturday and voted to support Rick Santorum's candidacy.

Washington Post:

The move represents an eleventh-hour effort by social conservatives one week out from the crucial South Carolina primary to unify around a single candidate and blunt the momentum of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whom many evangelicals consider insufficiently conservative.

But in a sign that the effort may be too little too late, the leaders did not discuss any plans to urge former House speaker Newt Gingrich or Texas Gov. Rick Perry to drop out of the White House race, according to one participant - meaning that social conservatives could well split their support this year, just as they did during the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

"That was not even a part of the discussion," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told reporters Saturday afternoon when asked whether participants discussed any effort to push Gingrich or Perry from the GOP contest.

All six Republican presidential hopefuls - with the exception of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman - sent representatives to the Texas meeting, Perkins said. After a "very cordial but passionate" discussion and three rounds of balloting, Santorum had won the support of more than two-thirds of the leaders present at the meeting just outside Houston.

Why did the Socons take so long to coalesce? Part of it surely is that the movement was fractured and split several ways; Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, and Herman Cain all lay claim to a portion of the religious right's vote. An attempt to force a coalescing might have generated ill feelings and even more disunion. Only after the field narrowed did the Socons find consensus on who to support.

A week is a long time in politics - especially in this race. As it stands now, Santorum is running third in most polls behind Gingrich and Romney.But coupled with a huge ad buy that Santorum has made, this endorsement might allow him to become extremely competitive in South Carolina.



Now that most of the social conservatives have dropped out of the race, the task that Evangelcial Christians in the GOP have taken on is to block Mitt Romney's nomination by getting behind one candidate.

About 150 activists gathered at a Texas ranch on Saturday and voted to support Rick Santorum's candidacy.

Washington Post:

The move represents an eleventh-hour effort by social conservatives one week out from the crucial South Carolina primary to unify around a single candidate and blunt the momentum of former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, whom many evangelicals consider insufficiently conservative.

But in a sign that the effort may be too little too late, the leaders did not discuss any plans to urge former House speaker Newt Gingrich or Texas Gov. Rick Perry to drop out of the White House race, according to one participant - meaning that social conservatives could well split their support this year, just as they did during the 2008 GOP presidential primary.

"That was not even a part of the discussion," Family Research Council President Tony Perkins told reporters Saturday afternoon when asked whether participants discussed any effort to push Gingrich or Perry from the GOP contest.

All six Republican presidential hopefuls - with the exception of former Utah governor Jon Huntsman - sent representatives to the Texas meeting, Perkins said. After a "very cordial but passionate" discussion and three rounds of balloting, Santorum had won the support of more than two-thirds of the leaders present at the meeting just outside Houston.

Why did the Socons take so long to coalesce? Part of it surely is that the movement was fractured and split several ways; Bachmann, Santorum, Perry, and Herman Cain all lay claim to a portion of the religious right's vote. An attempt to force a coalescing might have generated ill feelings and even more disunion. Only after the field narrowed did the Socons find consensus on who to support.

A week is a long time in politics - especially in this race. As it stands now, Santorum is running third in most polls behind Gingrich and Romney.But coupled with a huge ad buy that Santorum has made, this endorsement might allow him to become extremely competitive in South Carolina.



RECENT VIDEOS