Does a Group of Evangelicals Risk Irrelevance by Backing Santorum?


A group of 150 leaders from Christian conservative organizations met in Texas this weekend. The goal was simple: coalesce around a single candidate who could defeat Mitt Romney (in the primaries) and Barack Obama (in the general election). Going into the meeting, the participants agreed that if they could decide upon a candidate, then they would all support him. After several rounds of voting, Rick Santorum won.

Backing a single candidate could be a political gamble. Win, and they could become kingmakers. Lose, and they could risk irrelevancy. 
For social conservatives, it was a bet worth taking. The Republican primary was turning into a lost opportunity. A majority of primary voters preferred a more conservative candidate to the frontrunner Romney, but social conservatives were splitting their vote among several candidates, allowing Romney to win. The gathering in Texas was a last ditch attempt to bring social conservatives together behind one candidate. 
According to Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, there were three rounds of voting. Rick Perry, who was a favorite of many social conservatives last summer, failed to make it past the first round. In the final round, Santorum beat out Newt Gingrich by a vote of 85 to 29.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Tobin Grant