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.

May
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Read These Next
Also in this Issue
Q&A: Tony Hall Subscriber Access Only
Hall, a former Democratic congressman, directs the faith component of a new Middle East initiative sponsored by the State Department and members of Congress.
RecommendedCover Story: Jesus vs. Paul
Jesus vs. PaulSubscriber Access Only
Many biblical scholars have noted that Jesus preached almost exclusively about the kingdom of heaven, while Paul highlighted justification by faith—and not vice versa. What gives?
TrendingForgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Forgiveness: Muslims Moved as Coptic Christians Do the Unimaginable
Amid ISIS attacks, faithful response inspires Egyptian society.
Editor's PickThe March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
The March for Science Is Willing to Get Political. But Will It Welcome Religion?
How evangelical scientists square their place in the global movement.
Christianity Today
The Giuliani Choice
hide thisJune June

In the Magazine

June 2007

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