ERLC's Moore Appears to Favor Presidential Hopeful Rubio

January 29, 2016

With the first votes in the 2016 presidential race (finally) about to occur on Monday, the Republican hopefuls have been actively working to win over a key demographic in the Iowa Caucus - conservative evangelicals. A big part of this strategy involves seeking endorsements of well-known Christian leaders in hopes of convincing others to join the political flock.

One often-quoted evangelical leader in media coverage of this campaign is Russell Moore, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. With that post comes visibility and influence as the top politico for the largest Protestant denomination in the United States. If a candidate could win Moore's approval, it could swing some votes in Iowa and other states.

Moore officially refuses to endorse a candidate, but a careful look at his words and actions clearly suggest a preference for Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio. I explored this dynamic in my EthicsDaily.com article today: ERLC's Moore Appears to Favor Presidential Hopeful Rubio. It will be interesting to see if this collaboration continues, especially if Rubio gets more competitive for the nomination.

As I noted in my award-winning book on religious rhetoric in presidential campaigns, endorsements (official or not) from evangelical leaders can impact a race. Thus, candidates in both parties talk about their personal faith and make campaign stops at churches. In recent days, Rubio in particular has been gushing about his faith. Other candidates like Texas Senator Ted Cruz, author Ben Carson, and even business mogul Donald Trump are also talking quite a bit about their faith. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton has started talking more about her faith as well. It seems this year is continuing the trend of confessional politics.


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