Dr. Richard Land

Don’t Ignore Social Conservatives

November 15, 2012

​The G.O.P. must not, and cannot, ignore its foundation and base. Exit polls show that white evangelicals made up 26 percent of the electorate, three percent more than in 2004. Furthermore, these evangelicals voted for Mitt Romney in virtually the same percentages as the governor's fellow Mormons (78 percent for Romney vs. 21 percent for President Obama, according exit polls by Edison Research). Obama received 26 percent of evangelical votes in 2008.

On the pro-life and same-sex-marriage issues it should also be remembered that while Obama won the total Catholic vote 50 percent to 48 percent, he won Hispanic Catholics 75 percent to 21 percent, while Romney won non-Hispanic Catholics 59 percent to 40 percent. On the issue of same-sex-marriage, the pro-same-sex-marriage forces did win their first electoral victories, but they did so in four liberal states: Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington. And, in all four cases they won by relatively small margins in spite of having outspent their opponents by margins approaching nine to one.

While the G.O.P. needs to expand its base by embracing immigration reform and finding younger candidates and spokespersons, especially young women to make the pro-life case, they must not moderate their social conservative message. If the G.O.P. found it hard to win with their current base, imagine how excruciatingly difficult, if not impossible, it would be for them to try and win without that base.

Originally Published as part of The New York Times' online Room for Debate piece titled "What Next for the G.O.P.?