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May 31, 2005

Would Evangelicals Support Mitt Romney?

I’ve been impressed this year by Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and I’m pleased to see his name being mentioned as a potential presidential candidate. I posted on his judgment on the embryonic stem cell issue here, and on his call for the death penalty in Massachusetts if the standard of “no doubt” is met, here.

Hugh Hewitt points to a good column by Terry Eastland that weighs the merits of a Romney and finds it plausible.

My colleague Matt cites an optimistic NRO column, but he doesn’t believe Romney’s Mormonism will fly in the South or among evangelicals. Mark Daniels doesn’t think Romney’s faith will be a problem unless he pushes it too much.

It is untested ground because there hasn’t been a serious Mormon contender since Mitt’s father, George Romney, and his candidacy crashed for other reasons. My theory is that evangelical conservatives are less inclined to put their faith ahead of their politics in these matters than the secularists believe. That’s not necessary good news, and we’ve decried this tendency in this space.

If Romney’s policy credentials look solid to evangelicals, and it appears he could beat Hillary Clinton, I believe evangelicals will focus on his conservative values and not on his Mormonism.

One rationale I would use is the evangelicals’ embrace of Ronald Reagan, by no means an evangelical and not even a church-goer. He carried the banner for many issues of concern to evangelicals.

Mitt Romney could do the same. And if he can win in the northeast, it’s trouble for any Democrat.

Posted by Jim at May 31, 2005 12:16 PM

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» Would Evangelicals Support Mitt Romney? from ThreeBadFingers
Stones Cry Out poses this interesting question: Would Evangelicals Support Mitt Romney? Mitt Romney is a Mormon who seems to be shoring up his conservative credentials for a presidential run. So, are evangelical conservatives so zealous about their... [Read More]

Tracked on June 1, 2005 03:03 PM

» Mitt Romney: The Right Stuff? from Homocon
There's been a flurry of recent attention focused on Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, what with the month of June displaying Mr. Mitt as cover boy for the two leading conservative magazines (National Review and the Weekly Standard), plus Romney's... [Read More]

Tracked on June 13, 2005 08:15 PM


Good post, except you're repeating a myth about Reagan's religiosity:

Posted by: The Editors, American Federalist Journal at May 31, 2005 04:35 PM

In Arizona four years ago, we(not exactly myself) elected a very liberal governor who ran against a mormon. I believe that Matt Salmon, who lost, scared some conservative Christians off because of his Mormonism. It obviously backfired because now we have a governor who is financially backed by the abortion industry. She has vetoed parental consent and school voucher bills. In Arizona, it is a little different from some states in that most of the big cities are more liberal (NY, LA, CHI, MIA), whereas the smaller, outlying towns are more conservative. In Arizona, Phoenix is the conservative city, and the smaller towns of Tucson and Flagstaff are more liberal. We are still a red state on the whole, and we do have a significant Mormon population in the Phoenix area, but for some reason, Salmon's faith scared off people in 2000. I wish it didn't, I voted for him.

Posted by: Scott Lauritzen at June 1, 2005 05:38 AM

Evangelicals for Romney? Are you kidding me? Can you imagine the positive publicity that blasphemous cult would receive? Think this through a little more clearly. WWJD?

Posted by: stan at June 1, 2005 07:38 PM

Personally, being a life-long Mass resident and a Christian, I say thank goodness that somehow (I'm still not sure how) Romney got elected here. He's been doing a pretty good job cleaning house and tackling the issues cited above and many others in this notoriously bleeding-heart-liberal state. He's been a good governor, period. If he is deemed qualified for the job and a honorable man, then we should give him serious consideration as a potential candidate. I would certainly prefer him over Ms. Rodham-Clinton any day.

Posted by: Feeble Knees at June 2, 2005 12:16 PM

I like Mitt Romney. He is competent.

Posted by: Laren at August 12, 2006 08:19 PM