Why Evangelicals May Win the Nomination for Newt Gingrich
There are three reasons why evangelicals are likely to embrace him as the alternative to Romney.
November 18, 2011 - 12:47 am
He provocatively says in his book Rediscovering God In America that “[t]here is no attack on American life more destructive and more historically dishonest than the secular Left’s relentless effort to drive God out of America’s public square.” He coined the phrase “secular-socialist machine” and has put out a plan to rein in activist judges.
He’s the only candidate that talks about the growing persecution of Christians in the Islamic world, saying the Arab Spring is becoming an “Anti-Christian Spring.” He shows himself to be in-tune with the latest developments outraging evangelicals, such as the complaint against the private Catholic University of America for having crosses in Islamic prayer rooms and no club exclusively for Muslim students.
The second reason is the “born-again” experience and how that makes it easy for evangelicals to look past his marital history. The experience is based in confessing personal failings and discovering a life-changing relationship with God. Most evangelicals relate more to someone who has fallen and redeemed himself than to someone who grew up in faith and has never known much else. His recent explanation would play very well in a church:
I do believe in a forgiving God. And I think most people, deep down in their hearts, hope there’s a forgiving God. Somebody once said that when we were young, we seek justice, but as we get older, we seek mercy.
If Gingrich opens up about his personal experience and how it brought him to God, he’ll rally the evangelical vote behind him. He started to do this on Hannity this week.
Last, the economy is the number one issue for evangelicals like everyone else. They want a candidate from their ranks, but substance plays a huge role in their decision. They want a commander-in-chief, but one who values the importance of faith in leadership.
During the October 18 debate, Gingrich said, “How can you have judgment if you have no faith? How can I trust you with power if you don’t pray?”
Those are the types of words evangelicals love to hear, but they must come from the mouth of someone they feel is a credible contender for the office of the presidency and has an actionable plan based on their issues.
It is the evangelical vote that will decide who stands next to Romney when the campaign becomes a two-man race. And right now, it looks like Gingrich is their candidate.