McCain “too liberal” for Many Conservative Christians

In a phenomenon that points to the relative nature of categories like liberal
and conservative, some conservative Christians are suggesting that they will
“hold their noses” and vote for John McCain, despite the fact that he is a
liberal.

Senator John McCain has pledged to nominate conservative judges and to oppose
abortions, if he is elected President, but his stance against a constitutional
amendment defining marriage and his positions on immigration have made some
conservative evangelicals leery. 

In a recent article, Reuters interviewed self-identified conservative Christians
at the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention in Indianapolis,
Indiana.  Most of the people they interviewed offered lukewarm support for
McCain’s candidacy.  A vote for McCain, some suggested, was less a vote for the
Arizona Senator and more a vote against Senator Barak Obama of Illinois. 

Reuters interviewed Dan Yoder, a pastor of a congregation in Springfield,
Tennessee.  "I'm going to have to hold my nose while I vote for McCain,” he
said, “but Obama's a die-hard socialist."  

The anecdotal evidence gathered by Reuters at the SBC meeting is supported by a
recent study by Calvin College's Henry Institute for the Study of Christianity
and Politics.  Their study found that the close ties between evangelical
Christians and the GOP may be weakening.

The ambivalence of many conservative evangelicals toward McCain has lead to
speculation that McCain may be forced to select a running mate with stronger
conservative credentials to shore up his political base and increase voter
turnout among conservative Christians.  Many conservative Christians and
Southern Baptists in particular suggest that Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas
Governor and Baptist minister, would be an excellent running mate with strong
Christian and conservative credentials.  Mitt Romney, former Governor of
Massachusetts, also consistently earns high marks form conservative
evangelicals. 

Read the Reuters article at
http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/idUSN0935340120080610

Read the Pew Center’s article on the Calvin College survey at
http://pewforum.org/news/display.php?NewsID=15793