Guest / Limited Access /

Despite a strong showing of evangelical support for Republican presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani, evangelical leaders predict that the former New York mayor's liberal social views and rocky personal life will cost him a major part of the gop's conservative base.

"I think a lot of evangelicals are just getting to know Rudy," said Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.

"As they get to know him—not as the hero of 9/11 but as a supporter of tax-funded abortions—his support will decline precipitously."

Yet even as Land and other prominent conservatives—including Tony Perkins, Jerry Falwell, and Pat Buchanan—have taken aim at the current gop frontrunner, a plurality of evangelicals continue to favor him in polls. In a March survey, 27 percent of self-identified evangelical Republican and Republican-leaning registered voters said they favored Giuliani among the likely and announced gop presidential contenders. Senator John McCain followed in second place with 23 percent in the polling, conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press and analyzed by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Republican candidates can scarcely afford to alienate evangelicals. According to Pew, white evangelical conservatives compose 31 percent of Republican voters in Iowa, an early caucus state. They compose 39 percent of Republicans in South Carolina, which also votes early, but only 10 percent in New Hampshire, the first state to hold a primary.

John Green, the Pew Forum's senior fellow in religion and American politics, said he believes issues like abortion and opposition to same-sex marriage "are fading a little bit" as many states have banned ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Also in this Issue
Subscriber Access Only A Better Storyteller
Donald Miller helps culturally conflicted evangelicals make peace with their faith.
RecommendedIs It Time for Evangelicals to Strategically Withdraw from the Culture?
Is It Time for Evangelicals to Strategically Withdraw from the Culture?
Four evangelical thinkers consider what Rod Dreher's Benedict Option means for the church.
TrendingRussia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Russia’s Plan to Ban Jehovah’s Witnesses Puts Evangelicals in a Tight Spot
Group gives Protestants competition for souls, but also an ally on religious freedom.
Editor's PickThere’s No Crying on Social Media!
There’s No Crying on Social Media!
Young adults are desperate not to let peers see any signs of weakness or failure.
Christianity Today
The Giuliani Choice
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.