January 21st, 2012
09:53 PM ET

Passing significant test, Gingrich wins more S.C. evangelicals than rivals

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com

(CNN) - If there were any doubts that Newt Gingrich, a thrice-married convert to Catholicism, could connect with the evangelical voters who make up the Republican Party base, Saturday’s South Carolina primary put them to rest, with the former House Speaker winning twice as many evangelical votes as anyone else in the race.

Evangelical Christians made up two-thirds of the South Carolina electorate on Saturday, and Gingrich took 44% of their votes, according to CNN’s exit poll.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, who rode evangelical support to victory in the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses earlier this month, each got 21% of the evangelical vote in South Carolina.

Gingrich got roughly the same share of the South Carolina evangelical vote as Mike Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, did four years ago.

The former House speaker campaigned vigorously among evangelicals in the Palmetto State, talking about “values” issues and speaking to and holding conference calls with hundreds of evangelical pastors.

“Whatever his personal values may be, he certainly talked effectively and cogently to the kinds of issues that evangelicals care about,” said John Green, an expert in religion and politics at the University of Akron.

“Gingrich had a very intensive campaign mentioning social issues, less as policy matter than as test of the broader ideology of candidates,” Green said.

An accusation last week from Gingrich’s second wife that he asked for an “open marriage” raised questions about how much so-called “values voters” would support him.

“To a degree, it will give [evangelical voters] pause, but there’s a much more insatiable appetite to defeat President Obama,” said David Brody, chief political correspondent at CBN News at the Christian Broadcasting Network.

“Gingrich has never claimed to be a patron saint,” Brody said. “People have known for years about Gingrich’s marriage issues. In a way, his well-known history of troubled marriage works for him here.”

Last weekend, a group of conservative Christian leaders – evangelicals, mostly – reached consensus around supporting Santorum, but many experts said the development came to late to seriously influence the race.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics

soundoff (671 Responses)
  1. Brittany

    The Earth's rotation is a lfetover from the time of its formation as it collapsed and coalesced out of the planetary nebula at the time the solar system formed, conservation of angular momentum imparted a rotation on the resulting clump (see ). It has nothing to do with the magnetic field (I suppose the phrase geodynamo' might be misleading here?) The only thing that affects the Earth's rotation is gravitational interactions with other planets the interactions with the moon (tidal friction) are gradually slowing slowing it down, for example. But it's a very slow process.

    March 4, 2012 at 4:51 am |
  2. Yulia

    to eoreybvdy that took the time to comment or favorite this, I really do appreciate it. I've only been at this for a month or so, learning as i go. might as well do something with all this crap! Oops, I meant "collectibles". that was the bourbon talking.

    March 1, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    I do find it interesting that the folks who call themselves "Evangelical Christians" are more likely to get divorced than us "Secular New Englanders" or "Left Coasters", and still contend that they are in favor of "family values". I also find it ironic that these same self-proclaimed Evangelicals are pro-life (i.e. anti-abortion) but still strongly favor the death penalty. If life is sacred enough to not terminate it in the womb, why are they so callous about that same sacred life being terminated by society at a later date?
    It is dichotomies like the above stated that justify these people in supporting a serial adulterer like Newt (makes him look just like one of them), while not backing Romney, Santorum, Paul, or Perry – all of whom are still married to their first (and only) wives!

    January 24, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Michell

      -How lovley!Your flora and fauna was seen in:Remember: 1 post 2 awards If you received 3 or more awards _______________ ()

      March 2, 2012 at 3:16 am |
    • Daavinaa

      Kiyosaki sustine ca wernotk marketing-ul este una din formele cele mai noi de imbogatire. Esti sau nu de acord cu el, statisticile celor mai bogati oameni o dovedesc. Acceptam sau nu, toti oamenii sunt vanzatori: ne vindem timpul pt. bani indiferent de domeniu.

      March 3, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
  4. Michael G. Morris

    Newt feed fundamentalists resentment of Obama. Another thing they have in common: fundamentalists may not even know that the Bible is totally cool with multiple wives and mistresses! Check out my blog post about it at http://biblefunmentionables.wordpress.com/2012/01/23/answering-newts-prayer-for-open-marriage/

    January 24, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • sam

      Newt hasn't read the bible a day in his life

      January 24, 2012 at 5:41 am |
  5. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    The changing tides of life are best met with prayer
    Seek the full council of God in the evening
    Prayer changes things

    January 23, 2012 at 6:16 pm |
    • Bobby Singer


      January 24, 2012 at 5:34 am |
    • Nope

      We've been praying you would stop posting this crap, yet it continues, proving prayer doesn't work.

      January 24, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  6. HawaiiGuest

    I'm really hoping that an extremist gets the party nomination. This will bring the craziness of fringe elements in the republican to the forefront and when they lose the general election, it will disenfranchise the far right wing quickly. This will allow for moderates to make a comeback, and hopefully a return to a modic.um of decency in politics.

    January 23, 2012 at 3:50 pm |
    • Daniela

      Lubbock! Where are you again??Denise, well it's a place to start, not olevry organized but enough to keep me busy! Wouldn't mind adding a another show or two though;) I will check out your blog!

      March 2, 2012 at 5:10 am |
  7. Uncouth Swain

    I don't think certain groups of people should be allowed to vote. Specifically democrats, and a couple other groups that would probably be offended if I said their names. One of them happens to be a gender, and tom tom is part of that group.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Huh?

      So Lycidas you are not a true American I take it, what an idiotic post.

      January 23, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • HawaiiGuest

      Probably the most idiotic post from Uncouth I've ever seen.

      January 23, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  8. momoya

    Not surprising. Evangelicals pick and choose what scriptures or descriptions of god to believe or ignore, so why not when it comes to morality among the political candidates they support? Christians are selective in their judgments. The same behavior in Clinton and Gingrich?? Why, it's beyond the pale for Clinton, but it's no big deal in Gingrich. What a system!!

    January 23, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  9. Rev. Rick

    If Newt is the best candidate the GOP has to offer, the party is indeed in a sad state. I didn't vote for Obama in the last election, but I sure might in the next one.

    January 23, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
  10. Reality

    How much money would the following save the US taxpayers ?:

    Only for the newbies--

    Saving 1.5 billion lost Muslims:
    There never were and never will be any angels i.e. no Gabriel, no Islam and therefore no more koranic-driven acts of horror and terror like 9/11.

    – One trillion dollars over the next several years as the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan will end.

    – Eighteen billion dollars/yr to Pakistan will stop.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Egypt will end.

    Saving 2 billion lost Christians including the Mormons:
    There were never any bodily resurrections and there will never be any bodily resurrections i.e. No Easter, no Christianity!!!

    – The Mormon empire will now become taxable as will all Christian "religions" and evangelical non-profits since there is no longer any claim to being a tax-exempt religion.

    – Saving 15.5 million Orthodox followers of Judaism:
    Abraham and Moses never existed.

    – Four billion dollars/yr to Israel saved.

    – All Jewish sects and non-profits will no longer be tax exempt.

    Now all we need to do is convince these 3.5+ billion global and local citizens that they have been conned all these centuries Time for a YouTube,Twitter and FaceBook campaign!!!!

    January 23, 2012 at 8:44 am |
    • ......

      hit report abuse on all reality repeat bull sh it

      January 23, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bizarre


      Why do you complain so much about @Reality's posts? Does your server charge you by the line for viewing things?

      If you don't like what @Reality says, and it doesn't frighten the children or stampede the horses, move on.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:20 pm |
    • Bizarre


      I know that this dotty dipsh!t doesn't faze you, nor should he/she faze anyone else. Rock on.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • Reality

      And to think all of this money wasted is basically due to the Infamous Angelic Cons:

      Only for the newbies:

      Joe Smith had his Moroni.

      "Latter-day Saints also believe that Michael the Archangel was Adam (the first man) when he was mortal, and Gabriel lived on the earth as Noah."

      Jehovah Witnesses have their Jesus /Michael the archangel, the first angelic being created by God;

      Mohammed had his Gabriel (this "tin-kerbell" got around).

      Jesus and his family had Michael, Gabriel, and Satan, the latter being a modern day dem-on of the de-mented.

      The Abraham-Moses myths had their Angel of Death and other "no-namers" to do their dirty work or other assorted duties.

      Contemporary biblical and religious scholars have relegated these "pretty wingie thingies" to the myth pile. We should do the same to include deleting all references to them in our religious operating manuals. Doing this will eliminate the prophet/profit/prophecy status of these founders and put them where they belong as simple humans just like the rest of us.

      January 24, 2012 at 12:20 am |
  11. Joxer the Mighty

    Gingrich is a corrupt politician just like all the others. With Huntsman out, Ron Paul is probably the least corrupt out of who is left.

    January 23, 2012 at 6:23 am |
    • sam

      Well...I'll agree re Gingrich.

      January 24, 2012 at 5:37 am |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things
    The changing tide of life is best met with prayer
    Seek the full council of God early in the day
    Prayer changes things

    January 23, 2012 at 4:36 am |
    • TR6

      Prayer is like wax fruit. It looks ok from a distance; but, closer examination reveals it’s worthless

      January 23, 2012 at 5:31 am |
    • bringoutyourdead

      demons attack prayer with lies

      January 23, 2012 at 5:54 am |
    • Joxer the Mighty

      Unfortunately I would have to say that you are even more annoying than Reality.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:21 am |
    • Mirosal

      And who is to say that prayer isn't a lie?

      January 23, 2012 at 6:26 am |
    • just sayin

      to a liar all truth appears as a lie

      January 23, 2012 at 8:17 am |
    • Mirosal

      and YOUR version of the "truth" is ... ?

      January 23, 2012 at 8:18 am |
    • bringoutyourdead

      demons find annoyance in prayer

      January 23, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • just sayin

      God is truth

      January 23, 2012 at 8:20 am |
    • Mirosal

      No it isn't. It's just the same myth that has been perpetuated throughout human history for untold thousands of years. This 'god' of yours is but the latest in a long line of 'beings' people pray to, and have never been able to show any reality for it whatsoever.

      January 23, 2012 at 8:24 am |
    • Nope

      We've been praying you would stop trolling, so obviously it doesn't work.

      January 23, 2012 at 10:42 am |
    • sam

      OP and just sayin are the same poster...

      January 24, 2012 at 5:39 am |
  13. herbie

    I like gerbils.

    January 22, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • herbie

      you need to hook up with tom tom then

      January 23, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • herbie

      gerbils in gerbil gravy?

      January 23, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • sam

      richard gere is waiting,,,,

      January 24, 2012 at 5:40 am |
    • sam

      richard gere is waiting....

      January 24, 2012 at 5:40 am |
  14. Abinadi

    I'm just afraid we are heading for another embarrassing scandal and what the definition of is is.

    January 22, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Who's "we"? Are you a US citizen, Abinadi?

      January 22, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Mirosal

      Pay no mind to Abinadi, he thinks the book of (for) Morons is real.

      January 23, 2012 at 6:27 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.