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Friday, January 4, 2008
posted by Mike | 11:53 AM | permalink

We have countries around the world splintered and broken because too many people are only able to support leaders of their particular religion. Yet Laura Ingraham said this morning that we should not be upset at Huckabee because he won in Iowa.

This is a very interesting take! The Republican electorate turned out in record numbers and revealed in the Fox entrance polls that they were looking for a candidate that “shared their same values.” Of the 115,000 people who turned out, 60% were Evangelicals, a good deal higher than the state average.

Is it very hard to decide which of the following values were most important to this group? Choose one:

  1. Hard working, disciplined, and smart (graduated in top 30% of Harvard Law class and top 5% of Harvard Business School class) and successful at turning around ventures of all types, public as well as private.

  2. Shares my religious beliefs.

Huckabee’s campaign denies that Evangelicals played a significant role, yet entrance polls showed that 46% of the Evangelicals went for Huckabee. Huckabee of course had summoned his supporters to caucus, telling them to “Hijack your church’s bus!” Hijacking probably was not necessary, given that pastors across the state had already been tutored in a conference call by prominent Evangelicals Tim LaHaye, Rick Scarborough, and Michael Farris, all having publicly endorsed Huckabee. Finally, Huckabee told his blogger supporters: “You are doing the Lord’s work!” (Comments on Huckabee’s Web site are notably hate-filled and bigoted beyond belief…)

The double standard that prevails should be alarming. One can only imagine what would happen if several key leader of the LDS Church publicly endorsed Mitt Romney and then organized a conference call to “get people out to the caucuses!” It should be clear that even if Mitt’s name were not mentioned, the press would be all over this!

Religious bigotry and empty populism solve no problems, and any politician who bases their campaign on these principles does a disservice to the electorate that they attract, as well as to the society in which they live.

It is important to remember that 66% of Iowa Republicans would seem to agree, given that they did not succumb to Huckabee’s divisive messages and voted for someone else.

Mike B.

Update:

Charles at Evangelicals for Mitt laments: "They decisively rejected EFM's message that values, not theological particulars, are what matters in a presidential election."

While the overall results are indeed disappointing, we should be at least slightly encouraged that 54% of the Evangelical Republicans in Iowa were NOT influenced by Huckabee's populist appeal and the bigoted sub-text of his message.

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4 Comments:


According to Jeff Fuller's story at Iowans for Romney:

The New York Times is reporting that OVER 80% of Huckabee caucus supporters described themselves as Evangelical Christians.

Now that is identity politics!



One caveat. We're talking about mostly evangelicals with a household income of less than 30K. Draw your own conclusion.



How revealing.

54% you say?

So who voted for Huckabee?

Some non-evangelicals?

Practice saying the words "economic populism". You will need them in the coming weeks.



Chester:

I am not sure I understand your point. Perhaps I was not clear: 54% of the Evangelicals were not fooled by Huckabee and voted for someone else. Furthermore, 66% of the Republicans voted against Huckabee. A New York Times analysis showed that Mitt won hands down with others.




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