Thursday, September 17, 2015

Who Scored Big Last Night With Conservative Evangelicals?

Some of you remember the first Republican presidential debate when Megyn Kelly from Fox News asked the candidates (it was actually a question from a viewer on Facebook) if any of them had "received a word from God" about how they would conduct their presidency should they be elected in November 2016.

God was invoked constantly in the Fox News debate.  But God was rarely mentioned in last night's GOP debate.  Unlike Kelly and the folks at Fox, Jake Tapper and his fellow questioners at CNN did not find the topic particularly interesting.

And for whatever reason, the candidates themselves rarely invoked God in their answers.  John Kasich did try to make an appeal to the "Judeo-Christian" heritage of Western Civilization, but he got no traction.   Tapper quickly moved on to another line of questioning.  Huckabee got some time to discuss Kim Davis, but it didn't last long.

Going into the debate, many political pundits predicted that Huckabee, Cruz, Carson, and Kasich would make strong efforts to secure the votes of evangelicals.  But without any questions related to God or the Bible, it was difficult for these candidates to show their true religious colors.

Having said that,  there was one moment when the candidates did have the opportunity to connect with evangelical GOP voters.  It came during the discussion of the "defunding" of Planned Parenthood.  Nearly all the candidates (or at least those who were asked) want to stop funding the organization that was at the center of a series of disturbing videos about the selling of infant body parts. But it was Carly Fiorina, a candidate who is not particularly known for being a darling of the Christian Right, who seized the day:

Whatever you think of what Fiorina said or the accuracy of what she said, this was a brilliant political move.  Fiorina may be around for a while.