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Eye On Candidates
March 26, 2015

Social Conservatives Looking to Unite Behind One Candidate

The New York Times reports that social conservatives are looking for a single candidate to unite behind as an alternative to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, seen by some as the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2016. Leading contenders for the preferred challenger to Bush include Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Bobby Jindal, and former governors Rick Perry and Mike Huckabee.

Unhappy With a Moderate Jeb Bush, Conservatives Aim to Unite Behind an Alternative

Fearing that Republicans will ultimately nominate an establishment presidential candidate like Jeb Bush, leaders of the nation’s Christian right have mounted an ambitious effort to coalesce their support behind a single social-conservative contender months before the first primary votes are cast.

In secret straw polls and exclusive meetings from Iowa to California, the leaders are weighing the relative appeal and liabilities of potential standard-bearers like Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Govs. Rick Perry of Texas and Mike Huckabee of Arkansas.

“There’s a shared desire to come behind a candidate,” said Tony Perkins, the president of the Family Research Council, a national lobbying group that opposes abortion and equal rights for gays.

“It would be early for a group of leaders to come out for a candidate, but not too early for the conversations to begin,” he said…

I recall similar efforts in past years, which generally seem not to have worked. It will be interesting to see if this effort fares any better.