Are social issues more important than economic issues to a teavangelical? What do teavangelicals think of social issues taking a backseat to economic issues this election cycle?
The beauty of the teavangelical is that while social issues may be more important to most teavangelicals, the truth is that fiscal issues are nearly equally important because of the current fiscal state of our country. They have crept up the ladder of the years. Teavangelicals believe social issues and fiscal issues are inextricably linked. In a teavangelical’s mind, you can’t separate the two. In other words, their view is that good social policy is good fiscal policy and vice versa. It all makes for a good pro-family policy agenda. For example, the federal government spends over $100 billion dollars a year in programs devoted to unwed moms and divorce. If you strengthen families and cut the divorce rate in half you can save $50 billion dollars. Defunding Planned Parenthood is another issue where a social issue (abortion) combines with a fiscal issue because if you eliminate funding for the pro-choice organization, taxpayers would be off the hook for hundreds of millions of dollars.
As for social issues taking a back seat to fiscal issues, that isn’t a problem for the teavangelical because teavangelicals aren’t a one- or a two-trick pony. They care about a lot more than just the hot-button issues of abortion and traditional marriage. Furthermore, let’s remember that when you elect a fiscal conservative to office, he or she will most likely be a social conservative, so that social agenda is being addressed as well.
Is Romney’s Mormonism a problem for teavangelicals?
Let’s be clear: there is a small portion of the teavangelical electorate that has a real problem with Romney’s Mormonism and just won’t vote for him no matter what. However, most teavangelicals have an even bigger problem with President Obama’s agenda, which they believe is scary and downright dangerous for the future of this country.
What do teavangelicals think of President Obama? Does Romney really have to be worried about getting them to vote for him?
Teavangelicals simply don’t like President Obama’s policies, and they have a real palpable fear that if he is re-elected in 2012, that America will be changed forever for the worse. Romney ends up being the luckiest guy in the world because he doesn’t have to do too much to get teavangelicals all riled up for the 2012 general election. President Obama has done a lot of the work for him. Having said that, while the politically astute teavangelicals will show up and vote for Romney (even if they have to hold their nose), the real question is how many MORE teavangelical-type voters will show up at the polls in 2012 compared to 2008? There is ample evidence that teavangelicals will be much more present this time around. This is about the raw vote total especially in key swing states. So while the teavangelicals will overall support Romney, what we need to watch for is, will they bring a friend to the polls and will they organize for Romney? There is a difference between “support” and “enthusiastic support,” considering the fact that the teavangelicals are really the worker bees within the conservative base.
Are teavangelicals hawkish on foreign policy? What do they think about the Iran issue?
While teavangelicals don’t bring up foreign policy too often at tea party events, they are most definitely hawkish on foreign policy and their love for Israel is off the charts. As the Israelis know, conservative evangelical Christians are their biggest friend and so teavangelicals have a true heart for Israel. They believe Iran is not only a direct threat to Israel but also so much so that they believe stopping the regime at all costs is a non-negotiable. The good news for Romney here is that he sees the issue the same way.