Gingrich and the Evangelicals

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NewtCallista.jpgWith the Gingrich Bubble frothing away and the Iowa caucuses just around the corner, TPM asks if the all-important evangelical voting bloc (like, half of all GOP caucus-goers) will move into Newt’s camp.

The Des Moines Register‘s Jennifer Jacobs has done her interviews and thinks it’s split. A mysterious group called Iowans for Christian Leaders in Government has released a letter whomping on Christian leader in government wannabe Bob Vander Plaats for allegedly supporting Gingrich. Meanwhile, Doctor Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention has written an open Dear Newt letter urging the Thrice Married One to give a big speech to persuade evangelical women that he has cured his cheatin’ heart.

On the basis of 200 informal SBC focus groups, Land thinks Gingrich has an evangelical gender problem. The latest Insider Advantage Iowa poll suggests otherwise; Newt’s got three Republican women supporting him for every two Republican men. Then there’s the abortion issue, on which the Gingrichian record is just about as squishy as Mitt Romney’s. Will evangelicals plump for the insufficiently pro-life Mormon or the insufficiently pro-life serial polygamist? Or a fresh new face from the back of the pack? It would be nice if the pollsters would put religious identity back into their polls and provide a gender cross tab. Enquiring minds want to know.