Choosing a Consensus Conservative Candidate 2016

The evangelical primary is well underway.

Today Senator Rick Santorum invited supporters to a private meeting next week to assess his candidacy.

Governor Bobby Jindal is scheduled to visit Iowa and meet with conservative pastors this week.

Governor Rick Perry and several others will be attending the Iowa Freedom Summit on January 24 in Des Moines.

Dr. Ben Carson plans to make a decision by May 1, 2015.

The reason that many of us did not support Governor Huckabee in ’08 was his record on fiscal issues in Arkansas. While he is solid on the life and marriage issues, he did not govern as a fiscal conservative. Club for Growth authored a white paper on Huckabee in ’07, and they are now preparing to issue an updated version.

Some leaders in Iowa believe that Huckabee’s entrance into the race has immediately taken support away from Ted Cruz. Bob Vander Plaats, President of The Family Leader in Iowa, chaired the Huckabee campaign in ’08, and he is quoted as saying,
“People love Cruz, with one caveat. That caveat has a name: Mike Huckabee.”

However, the conservative Council for National Policy held a meeting in September 2014 where both Huckabee and Cruz were invited to speak. From that meeting, this quote emerged: “Huck just connects with that audience better,” said one of the event’s organizers, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of its strict off-the-record rules. “Cruz was like a hyper lawyer roaming the stage and making a factual argument to a jury. Huckabee was like a friendly preacher speaking from the pulpit and appealing to emotion. Just two totally different styles.” The remarks of Senator Cruz are available; those of Huckabee are listed but with no working link.

The likely conservative candidates as of now are:

Dr. Ben Carson, [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ], Governor Mike Huckabee, Governor Bobby Jindal, Governor Rick Perry, and Senator Rick Santorum.

With respect to [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ], his libertarian views on issues like abortion and traditional marriage are in direct conflict with evangelical views on social issues, in my opinion. He will try to walk a fine line between pleasing his libertarian followers and garnering social conservative support; it will be a difficult balancing act.

Let’s pray that a majority of conservatives will unite behind one solid candidate, that we will do so early in the process, and that we will all work together.