Religious right seen split on '08 race

Nov. 18, 2007 at 10:57 PM
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LYNCHBURG, Va., Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Christian political conservatives, who have formed a major voting bloc in recent decades, appear divided on whom to support for U.S. president in 2008.

Religious conservatives have yet to coalesce around a single candidate for the Republican nomination, surprising many of their leaders -- and the candidates as well -- The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

Until very recently, the newspaper said, the expectation was that the movement would rally around a single candidate, throwing millions of votes his way and -- in the bargain -- establishing a political debt to be repaid if the candidate won the nomination and the White House.

However, it isn't working out that way.

Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson has endorsed former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Longtime social conservative guru Paul Weyrich is backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, and the National Right to Life Committee has lined up behind former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson.

On the campus of the late Rev. Jerry Falwell's Liberty University, the Globe said, some students support Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a libertarian -- and some even support Democrats for president.

Roy Jones, director of development for Liberty University and the Liberty Alliance, said he sees the development as "a sign that pro-family, values voters have matured."

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