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Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina
Evangelicals are expected to account for about 40% of the Republican vote on Tuesday's primary in Florida.
January 28th, 2012
02:00 AM ET

Florida Evangelicals a different breed of voter than brethren in Iowa, South Carolina

By John Sepulvado, CNN

(CNN) - Conservative Christian activist Ralph Reed has called the Bible Belt home for decades, but he grew up in Miami in the 1970s, when the city was emerging as a diverse megalopolis.

Among his middle school friends were Jews, Catholics and Methodists.

Then, at age 15, Reed's family relocated to the sleepy mountain town of Toccoa, Georgia, so his dad, a doctor, could take a better-paying job.

“It was very conservative,” says Reed, who now lives outside Atlanta. “At first – as would be true of any 15-year-old – I didn’t like it. I think it was a culture shock.”

Ultimately, the mostly evangelical residents of Toccoa shaped Reed’s faith, helping lead him to Jesus in his 20s. But in terms of his faith-based organizing, the well-known activist drew more on his experiences in hyper-diverse Miami.

"Later on in life, when I became a leader in the Christian Coalition, I had a greater appreciation [for] ethnic and religious diversification,” Reed says.

That could be good news for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The former Massachusetts governor is looking to regain momentum from chief rival Newt Gingrich, after the former speaker’s upset in South Carolina, in Florida’s Tuesday primary.

There are signs that Florida’s evangelical voters may be more forgiving of Romney’s past social liberalism than their Iowa and South Carolina brethren – and more willing to support a Mormon candidate.

“I think Romney could do well in Florida,” Reed says.

A more centrist evangelicalism

As a percentage of GOP voters, there are fewer evangelicals in Florida compared to South Carolina and Iowa, where Rick Santorum won the presidential caucuses, according to CNN exit polls from 2008.

In that year, evangelicals accounted for 40% of Republican primary voters in Florida, compared to 60% in the Iowa caucuses and South Carolina primaries.

And compared to those other early primary states, Florida is much more religiously diverse. In the 2008 primary there, Catholics were nearly a third of the Republican vote, with other kinds of Christians, Jews and those with no religious affiliation each claiming a chunk of the vote.

Still, evangelical Christians claim a bigger share of the Florida Republican vote than any other religious tradition. There also are signs they may be more tolerant of a Mormon candidate than born-again Christians in the Bible Belt and Midwest.

In the South Carolina primary, Romney claimed 22% of the evangelical vote, compared to 44% for Gingrich, according to CNN exit polls.

Florida’s evangelicals are “more open” to the idea of a Mormon in the White House, according to Orlando area pastor Joel C. Hunter.

“Our nature, of being a fairly mobile state, with a lot of tourism and a lot of transcultural and transnational interaction really makes us boundary spanning, rather than sticking to our own affinity groups,” Hunter says.

He leads a congregation of 15,000 at Northland, a Church Distributed, a nondenominational megachurch of the kind that are more popular in Florida than in Iowa or South Carolina.

“For any independent church, you’re going to be open – necessarily open – to non-ready made boundaries, open to other religious groups,” Hunter says. “You’ll be more likely to partner with groups that aren’t necessarily like your own.”

The pastor cites his church’s partnerships with local synagogues and mosques to help local homeless children. For Hunter, teaming up with different religious traditions follows the example of Jesus.

“Jesus talked to the people, the religious leaders others wouldn’t talk to,” he says.

“As an evangelical, I should be ready to talk to a lot of people that aren’t like myself, because that’s what I see in the life of Christ, and I’m looking to build relationships.”

Mark I. Pinsky, the Florida-based author of "A Jew Among Evangelicals," says there are other key differences between evangelicals in Florida and those in Iowa and South Carolina.

“In Iowa,” Pinsky says, “they tend to be rural and older. In South Carolina, they tend to be more fundamentalist, and more likely to be affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention,” a denomination that isn’t shy about pointing out theological differences with Mormonism.

Pinsky says Florida evangelicals, especially in the central part of the state, are more likely to have Mormons as neighbors, compared to their brethren in South Carolina and Iowa.

“Nondenominational evangelicals are less likely to demonize someone who is a real person,” Pinsky says.

Less Preaching, More Teaching

Even in smaller Baptist churches in Florida’s Panhandle, there are “notable differences” with Christians in more historically evangelical parts of the country, according to pastor Curtis Clark.

“There’s still a lot of yelling from the pulpit in South Carolina,” says Clark, who leads a congregation of 2,500 at Thomasville Road Baptist Church in Tallahassee. Clark says his congregation is split between Republicans and Democrats, that almost all the adults have college degrees and that the parishioners want to be led, not yelled at.

“I try and teach, try and encourage,” Clark says. “Florida evangelicals are a little bit more educated, and have a broader experience.”

Census figures from 2010 show Florida has a slightly greater share of college graduates than South Carolina.

Both the Romney and Gingrich campaigns are reaching out to evangelicals to quell concerns about their candidacies. Both campaigns held conference calls with influential conservative religious leaders last week, discussing religion, personal and policy decisions.

Many evangelicals have expressed concern about Romney’s past support for abortion rights and gay rights and over Gingrich’s failed marriages.

But Romney doesn’t need to win big among evangelicals to take Florida, Reed says. Because evangelicals make up a smaller portion of Republican voters, Reed says Romney only needs to win a sizeable share of their support.

“If Romney gets a third of evangelical voters” Reed says, “he wins the primary.”

While Romney skipped meeting with some evangelical leaders in South Carolina, including officials at Bob Jones University, his campaign has started more aggressively courting pastors and religious community networks in Florida. The campaign has participated in multiple conference calls with religious leaders and activists.

“In part, I think [the Romney campaign is] more open to outreach by virtue of the Florida demographic,” Reed says.

That suggests the Romney camp suspects Florida’s evangelicals will be more open to his candidacy than other evangelicals in the primary states so far.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Mitt Romney • Newt Gingrich • Politics

soundoff (1,828 Responses)
  1. Nick

    Politics make strange bed fellows. Reed changed his strong Christian walk for politics. There are differences between groups such as Methodist, Presbetrian, Pentocostal, Southern Baptist, Jews, Hindus, Muslin, non-believers, etc. They are in their group because of different beliefs. No one size fits all and the media and others has never understood this. If people are going to speak to the issue I wish they would first get some knowledge before assuming certain things and running off at the mouth.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  2. Dr Phillip E Goble

    The Separation of Church and State 800 pound gorilla in the room that nobody wants to talk about is that many if not most Evangelical Republicans do not want to have a disciple of Charles Taze Russell or Joseph Smith running the country. Those who want to rewrite Church History and do an ad hoc reclassification of Mormonism as, lo and behold, a Christian Denomination may not be as many as the Republican Establishment is banking on, even in Florida.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
  3. blight

    Can you believe this?

    House Resolution 535 in Pennsylvania, sponsored by Rep. Rick Saccone (R-obviously), declares:

    That the House of Representatives declare 2012 as the “Year of the Bible” in Pennsylvania in recognition of both the formative influence of the Bible on our Commonwealth and nation and our national need to study and apply the teachings of the holy scriptures.

    Wow they have balls (but no brains).

    January 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • light

      Looks like your day is about over, atheist.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • George

      If this is true, it is another great day for Christians. Last week a bill in Indiana made it to the floor of the senate to require creationism to be taught in public schools. I am so happy to see that Christians are standing up for ourselves. Thank God! We need to get some of these people in Washington.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Skyler

      Did this resolution pass?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • blight

      It passed 193 – 0.
      Saccone doesn’t even try to take a secular route in explaining it:
      “As not only Pennsylvania, but the United States, continues to face great tests and challenges, House Resolution 535 serves as a reminder that we must look to our faith in God and the Holy Scripture to provide us with the strength, wisdom and courage to conquer these great trials,” said Saccone. “All over the Pennsylvania Capitol, one can easily see the tremendous influence that Christianity and the Bible have had over our founders and predecessors. These images and quotes illustrating the beliefs and morals that have shaped our great Commonwealth must never be forgotten.”

      January 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • lol

      lol and pwnt

      January 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Praise God, thank you Pennsylvania

      January 28, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • ron mcloughlin

      "Sanctorum," his real name in Italian, is one of those pushy Christians who hasnt a clue abt what "separation of church and state" means. How ironic the Puritans came to practice their own religion in America only to prove that religion shudnt be imposed on a nation. After all, the Puritans were scary people to our republicans (small r, please)–those who favored a republic over a monarchy or a theocracy.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      ron, you need to comprehend Jesus' truth ...

      How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, and fools hate knowledge. (Proverbs 1:22).

      Amen.

      January 29, 2012 at 12:17 am |
  4. jon

    Most people that attend chruch don't look like the wack job on the photo, we don't refer to ourselves as "evangelicals" and we are more concerned with what a candidate is going to do to fix Obama's mess, not what religion they are.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Annie

      I will vote for Newt because he is the only person who has led congress to successly balance the US federal budget. That and he is pro-life.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Emme De Guz

      What Obama's mess you're talking about?

      January 28, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  5. Rafi

    Though not an atheist myself, I would like to see one, with good policies of course, be elected to office. It would truly reflect the fact that Americans consider the policies of the candidates, rather than color or creed.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • The Dude

      I believe Obama is an Atheist.

      That is why I will not vote for him, he does a dis-service to the Non-Believer community by not wearing the Atheist label with pride.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
  6. What is it with Xtians and waving their arms in the air???

    They really think endorphins are a holy poltergeist touching their hearts, and filling them with the spirit, lol!
    HELLO, PEOPLE!
    IT'S NOT A GHOST!
    IT'S JUST ENDORPHINS, YOU MORON!!!!

    January 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      What is it with Xtians – Your missing the point here. Much of us pain in silence, feeling we are alone in this. To gather, to feel that kinship of heart, to just ... know others made it past and so can we... causes elation of the spirit.. Sometimes, it's not always about the obvious..... is it, sometimes it goes much deeper than that. Straight to the heart....

      January 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • NeuroGirl

      Review or learn what endorphins are. There really isn't a situation in which their effect is so spectacular as all that. You're as bad as a theist. Everything boils down to a single cause? Those magical endorphins!

      January 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Evasion, party of one, your table's ready this way please

      lol

      January 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • Annie

      You obviously don't understand endorphins and why they are released. There is no extreme stress in a religious service to cause the release of endorphins. Endorphins are polypeptides containing 30 amino acid units. Opioids are considered stress hormones like corticotrophin, cortisol, and catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline), and are manufactured by the body to reduce stress and relieve pain. Usually produced during periods of extreme stress, endorphins naturally block pain signals produced by the nervous system.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Annie

      Landon what do you expect from a people that executed Jesus in the most horrible way possible, while mocking him the whole time. We should expect no less when it comes to they way they treat His children.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • I cant hear you

      I'm doing the "close your eyes and wave your arm in the air l-dopamine shuffle"

      January 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • NeourGirl

      There is no l-dopamine. Dopamine is not chiral. Go stand in the corner.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  7. The Dude

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eqKb5ViN_Q&w=640&h=360]

    January 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Landon Jordan

      This is the most offensive thing that I have ever seen. I am all for a joke but this takes it way too far. I do not know any Christians who would ever laugh at this or very many non Christians for that matter. This is ridiculous that this is what the world has reduced to, making fun of the man that created it.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • The Dude

      Mission Accomplished.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      So... this person that 100% does not believe spent an inordinate amount of time creating this video, perfecting the animation... putting on so very much dedication – to prove to us .... what again? I'd say that is someone thinking too much about what they say ... we do.... interesting hummmm?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • The Dude

      Took me 20 minutes.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • hez316

      You must not have supported our current president who is of the Christian faith. This would certainly be offensive to him so I'm sure you wouldn't support him.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Annie

      doodlebug he wants to prove he is possessed of the devil.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
  8. UhYeaOk

    I think CNN posts these religous stories just to give the trolls a place to vent their hatred for anyone who has religion in their lives. They try to act like they are intelligent but in the end only show what hypocrites they are and even more so, what haters they are. Luckily they are in the minority.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • jesus liked it up da backdoor

      how many times did ur daddy force u to suck him and swallow his load?
      ur momma was the neighborhood wh0 r e who fu c k ed anyone with 10$

      January 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      did you know that the more intelligent a person is, the less likely they will believe in religion? Just wondering if you had the facts.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • bram

      oh you mean like how faux news (fox) posts religious stories so that their ilk can froth at the mouth & tell everyone that isnt christian is going to burn & say how religion should be the center of EVERYONES life.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      UhYeaOk – They are just trolls.... a 'look at me – what I can do' ... the same as the bigger child that bullies the smaller and slowly walks off smugly smiling at their oh-so-great accomplishment. Just simply turn away... nothing to see there except the proof of an empty life they offer up in their every word.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      Trolls are nothing new and most times some would profess they are not trolling, but only setting the other posters straight on the truth of things... The very big difference between a person that believes what they are posting and a troll is simple. And can be proven w/ one test. Take them to a room w/ their boss, co-workers, parents, spouses parents, children and friends... and have them read out what they have posted. If you sincerely believe in your own words, you can do it. If you are a troll... not. Everything I post from the comfort of my home, behind my computer is what I believe because I would... witness it to those in my life that I care about, and those I respect.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • ron mcloughlin

      Where is the moderator for that profanity below? Sick, sick.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus said,

      But there are some of you who do not believe. (John 6:63).

      Not believing dictates not understanding (2 Corinthians 4:4).

      Amen.

      January 28, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I thought it was that the spiritually dead finally wanted to seek His truth how to become spiritually alive while housed in this earthly flesh.

      Amen.

      January 29, 2012 at 12:23 am |
  9. jesus liked it up da backdoor

    jesus was a child molesting, man- h u m p ing, B J giving, cross dressing, pedophile who loved to s u c k off lambs ,kids, men and cats!
    all hail allah and satan!

    January 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      satan's cool

      January 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • michael

      You sound real stupid!

      January 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
      Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness....
      Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,
      And prudent in their own sight!"

      Isaiah 5:20-21

      Amen.

      January 29, 2012 at 12:25 am |
  10. jesus liked it up da backdoor

    jesus was a child molesting, man- h u m p ing, BJ giving, cross dressing, pedophile who loved to suck off lambs ,kids, men and cats!
    all hail allah and satan!

    January 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      It's obvious that you've never read 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Philippians 3:17-19, Revelation 21:8, or 1 John 3:4-10.

      Amen.

      January 29, 2012 at 12:34 am |
  11. The Dude

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lr1KA5GXUGM&w=640&h=360]

    January 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's son

      I declare I am the nastiest who-re in Kansas!

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's son

      And you're the nastiest perv in your kindergarten perv. Wild horses couldn't drag me to Kansas.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  12. Nosense

    Wouldn't it be great if we had voters and a government that separated ancient religious from decisions....maybe in another 100 years.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • UhYeaOk

      No

      January 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • bram

      i often wonder what other ideals from the bronze age people still cling to.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      "All those who hate me love death.”

      Proverb 8:36

      Amen.

      January 29, 2012 at 12:36 am |
  13. Beelzebubba

    Evangelicals, and all religious zealots, are MORONS.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  14. George

    Evangelicals should support Rick Santorum. He is the one candidate who is most likely to advance the Christian agenda. Gingrich is an opportunist and Romney is a NE liberal.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      your GOP is scary..

      January 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • George

      Scary? Why?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • William Nilliam

      How about Ron Paul or "None of the above". Really, I think you should vote for Obama in 2012, George. He's a smart guy. He's honest, hardworking and has the best interest of America at heart. And he's a Christian even when it's uncool.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • SurRy

      Why would you want to advance the agenda of any cult? What about ALL the taxpaying citizens of the US?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • jt_flyer

      God's going to kick you butt for that. You don't want to get God angry. He can tear off your head with his mind.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Why does a God need anyone to push Gods agenda .. God can create the entire universe but can't get his candidate elected LOL

      January 28, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
  15. TheAmericanWay

    So Mormons are Polytheists, Baptists are anti-Protestant, and Muslims are Arian Heretics. So what? What's that got to do with the price of Tea in China or the price of Oil in Saudi Arabia?

    January 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • michael

      I some what agree what does that have to with the price of tea in China or America. What happened to the so called separation of church and state? I want to enlighten you on something so that when you speak on a subject of interest your good thoughts or opinions are not dismissed because of lake of knowledge of subject matter you are speaking of. If the definition of a protestant states. a protestant is classified as any Christian religion other than Roman Catholic. Therefore by definition a Baptist can not be an anti protestant religion.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • TheAmericanWay

      There is a more extreme radicalism within the Baptist faith than in the main Protestant groups such as Lutherans and Calvinists.
      Baptists have basically taken it upon themselves to redefine the act of Baptism by defining the Abrahamic covenant. That's where their name comes from. They were labeled Anabaptists, much to their chagrin. They have since shaken that label for the most part but their radicalism remains.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm |
    • TheAmericanWay

      Sorry, I meant to write the following:

      There is a more extreme radicalism within the Baptist faith than in the main Protestant groups such as Lutherans and Calvinists.
      Baptists have basically taken it upon themselves to redefine the act of Baptism by REDEFINING the Abrahamic covenant. That's where their name comes from. They were labeled Anabaptists, much to their chagrin. They have since shaken that label for the most part but their radicalism remains.

      January 28, 2012 at 6:32 pm |
  16. Come on, be honest for a change..

    I love satan. Satan is too cool. The christians try to destroy him, even talk for him. Satan never harmed anyone. In fact satan never lied, christians do.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • George

      We've been through this before. Satan is responsible for the suffering in the world. He is also responsible for leading people astray. He is the reason that so many souls are burning in hell.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • One one

      @george: then why did god create Satan?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      prove it.. also prove there is a hell while you're at it. If you cannot prove it, you are now a liar. Or just delusional.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • George

      God created satan as a good angel. But satan decided to exercise his free will against God.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Cyle in Dublin

      Read the book of Job – your god and satan get along quite well. They make friendly bets for the souls of humanity.

      If satan is the problem, an omnipotent god could simply remove the problem, no satan = no evil. If your god doesn't want to then he approves of evil and WANTS it here. If your god cannot do it then he is not all powerful, thus not a god. It's just a myth.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      Sorry George... in my opinion humans are mostly responsible for other humans suffering in this world. Our selfishness, our greed – all ripples like dominos, touching one another until all fall down. Often it is not the religious one, but the strong of heart and character that puts everything on the line to say 'enough'. And stand in the middle of the domino coming and the next one to fall... sometimes they are left standing, sometimes they take the full blow. But it stops the ripple... for now. No George, we humans provide more than enough vile, soulless beings – to cause chaos among us....

      January 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      George is confused.. I think George might be a young kid just out of catechism class. Sad how the religious destroy children with their brainwashing. Why can't they just let kids be kids. How unfair.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • doodlerbug

      Everyone lies... and on a frequent basis.... we talk up our accomplishments, our smarts and we fool even ourselves into believing a shadow of the truth. Try to, just for 24 hours – to not boost, not fib, not say one cruel, perverted or insulting thing... then take this to the next level, try to not think.... it. For another 24 hours. Not that easy... probably impossible to some. We are the cause of our own destruction and pain. No need to give Satan all of the credit dear.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • One one

      God lets bad people kill at will.

      The devoted they say it’s because of “free will”.

      Then why do they pray, and pray, and pray?

      For god to help them, day after day?

      They want their god to rectify their fate.

      Their own “free will” they ask god to negate.

      “Free will” for us all…, from the god of peace!

      Who sends us to hell for a “wrong” belief.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Come on, be honest for a change..

      Uh Oh, george is giving us his free will thing. Yep, do as you please and we'll destroy you. That sure is some free will there.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • JT

      Free will – believe in and worship me or burn in unquenchable flames for eternity. But remember, it's your choice!

      January 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • George

      @Come on

      Nice. When you can't win an argument, you go for the personal attack. Can't you see that you are behaving just as satan would have you behave?

      January 28, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  17. Jeff

    This is a testament to the Republican party being out of touch. So what if Romney wins Florida? Without support from the Bible belt, he gets trounced in the general election. Given the Republican party's alienation of the Latino population, no one, save perhaps Ron Paul would even get their vote and likely will lose Florida, Texas, etc. without the support of the evangelical community. Having the evangelicals stay home because of their lack of motivation to get out and vote will mean catastrophic defeat for not just Romney, but for many of the other Republican candidates who could use the support from spirited evangelicals who would vote down the line for Republican candidates. Santorum and Gingrich would mobilize the community far greater than Romney. They would likely make better leaders than Romney also as Romney is simply pro-business much like Herbert Hoover. At least Gingrich and Santorum can see past corporate issues unlike Romney who will put business issues first over all else.

    As an independent who loathes all the Republican candidates save Ron Paul (who actually would get my vote over Obama), I am tickled that Romney is front runner. It will mean disastrous results at the polls as Romney takes Utah and Idaho, but loses nearly everywhere save a handful of other western states such as Wyoming and Montana.

    January 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  18. mike

    It never fails to amaze me the stupidity of the moderates and liberals that voted for Obama in the last election that want to chastize the real conservatives that can change this country and make it great again. I hope you all rot in hell. VOTE FOR NEWT ARE ONLY CHANCE!

    January 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Bobbo

      A little trouble with the English language there. Which may explain the cheering for Newt. Newt? "Our (not ARE) only chance"??? Good grief, that man cannot control his temper, and you want him to be a leader? If this is the best the GOP can do, it's time to turn in the charter, close up shop and lock it up! Turn the GOP over to some people who have something positive to offer instead of ripping Obama all the time. As it stand right now the GOP has nothing to offer; not one level headed candidate; and, certainly not one program any GOP supporter can explain. Not one! Pointless party at the moment...and I worked for the GOP..I worked HARD for the GOP! These clowns are nothing but...well, clowns! Forget this crowd, and let's see what the GOP can do about finding some mature leadership in the next 4 years!

      January 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  19. Soul68

    Why does it seem like the people that flail their arms in the air and make these dramatic religious gestures seem like the biggest phonies of all?

    January 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • George

      Maybe you see them like that because of your prejudices.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Answer

      "Maybe you see them like that because of your prejudices."

      Well made point George – apparently you don't see yourself in that phrase.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      The more public the display, the more brownie points for God! They're trying to "out christian" each other, it's actually kinda funny. But yet these same people would laugh at the Native American ceremonies with much the same behaviors.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • ManintheSky

      Evil demo come out. LOL

      Mental illness and religion are separate only by diagnosis

      January 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • One one

      I notice that religious people on TV hold their hands up in the air a lot. Apparently it works better when they pray to god for favors if they hold their hands up.

      January 28, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  20. lilbluepill

    ...still hypocritical...these folks are still adamently against about other religions and religious thoughts, try to "scare" people thinking that this nation will be "taken over" by other religions (as in muslim sharia? here in this nation) yet pushing for their own religious agenda and fundamentally advocating and forcing "christian sharia" to others of this nation. these evangelicals and fundamentalists often use their religious beliefs to "segregate" the population into religions and more often or not, race since most followers of the other major religions are of different races than the predominantly majority of these conservative christians are white...and these folks think they are going to "heaven" with these prejudice thoughts? non-understanding/non-compassion towards those not like themselves? hmmm interesting since christianity is one of those "far out ancient" ASIAN religions...

    January 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • AmericanWay

      I don't know where you got your "Christian Sharia" term, certainly not from the Bible! True Christianity renders what is Caesar's to Caesar and what is God's to God. Islam says to render everything to Allah, i.e.: Muslim Sharia. And let's eliminate bigotted comments such as "conservative christians are white". OK!!!???

      January 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
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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.