A new study released by Gallup finds that only 17% of Americans who vote or lean Republican say social issues and moral values are important, and rank them third of four major categories, after government spending and power (38%), and business and the economy (32%), in stark contrast to the focus of over a dozen current Republican presidential candidates and aspirants.
Despite an overwhelming focus by over a dozen possible GOP presidential candidates who claim that social and moral issues are tied together, their own constituents believe they are not. Moreover, other studies show the American people want their political representatives to focus on jobs and the economy, not social issues like marriage equality, abortion, or religion.
That said, the study notes that “Republicans who care the most about social and moral issues are most likely to support Huckabee and Palin. All other candidates gain only single-digit support among these voters. Romney, who is in first or second place among all other groups, does no better than tie Gingrich and Ron Paul among social issues voters.”
“Despite some observers’ claims that Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum have a special following among social conservatives, these two politicians do not have an unusual appeal among Republicans who care most about social and moral issues.”
The Gallup study found national security and foreign policy were the least important of the four categories, with just 12% of respondents giving it weight.
What is striking is how many GOP presidential aspirants are not only willing to associate with radical religious extremists — but are actively seeking them out — to been seen as rubbing elbows with America’s religious conservatives in hopes of gaining credibility on social issues.
Last week, Republican hopeful Michele Bachmann (R-MN) announced, “Social conservatism is fiscal conservatism.” Bachmann teamed up with Republican presidential aspirants Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Haley Barbour to headline a fundraiser for Tony Perkins, president of the certified hate group the Family Research Council (FRC), and other hate preachers, such as Lou Engle and David Barton to create the fundraiser, which was broadcast to churches Sunday.
Mike Huckabee, an ordained Baptist Minister, also spoke at Perkins’ fundraiser, titled, “Rediscover God in America,” saying, “I pray that God will raise up spiritual warriors who will say America will not fall – that we will not let this nation fall to the hands of those that will enslave us. This battle is one that pits good against evil. There are things that are right and there are things that are wrong and the great battle that we will live or die by to preserve this nation is one in which we identify and then we fight for until the last breath – that there are some things that are holy and pure and that are just.”
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee also spoke about what he sees as the need to stand up for traditional marriage, and against same-sex marriage, even at the risk of job loss.
Newt Gingrich, despite two divorces, three marriages, numerous adulterous affairs, and House ethics violations, has also made a career of focusing on social issues, religion, and so-called morality. On Sunday, Gingrich gave a speech at a San Antonio, Texas megachurch, Cornerstone Church, and stated “I am convinced that if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America,” he fears America will become “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.”
Cornerstone Church is led by Rev. John Hagee, who had close ties to John McCain’s 2008 Republican presidential campaign. Hagee was criticized for comments he had made, like saying Hurricane Katrina was “the judgment of God on the city of New Orleans” for its “level of sin,” relating to a gay pride parade.
Hagee also was criticized for suggesting Hitler was God’s “hunter,” and hastened the Jews’ return to Israel in accordance with what he suggested was God’s will.
The question is, why, in stark contrast to what the American people have said repeatedly they want their political leaders to focus on, namely the economy and jobs, are Republicans politicians focusing on anything but?
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