I think Ed Kilgore, at the New Republic, is mostly right when he indicates that most evangelical leaders will dutifully line up behind the candidacy of Mitt Romney, their concern for the issues trumping their doubts about his unorthodox doctrinal beliefs. But, most is not all. Kilgore fails to mention the deep fear harbored by some evangelical pastors about the legitimacy a Romney presidency would confer upon Mormonism. Those evangelical churches that are deeply engaged in missionary work in Lein America and Africa will be especially conscious of this danger because in those parts of the world, evangelicals are in direct competition with Mormons for converts.
Will most white evangelicals vote for Romney. Of course. But, will enough pastors send mixed messages in October that some percentage of evangelicals decide to go fishing on election day? Quite possible. I do not anticipate that enough evangelicals will sit out the election to cost Romney Mississippi or Georgia, but in Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, where the election is likely to be close anyway, a few thousand less votes for Romney could prove pivotal.
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