By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
I've seen lots of signs that the post-2008 election obituaries for the Christian right were premature, and here's another: The movement has played a big role in boosting Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman in the special election for New York's 23rd congressional seat.
Conservative Christian groups led the charge for Hoffman even before official Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava dropped out of the race this weekend, throwing her support behind the Democratic nominee.
Consider these endorsements that Hoffman's touting on his campaign's website:
- Concerned Women for America PAC
- Family Research Council PAC
- Focus on the Family founder James Dobson
- Gary Bauer
- National Organization for Marriage
- New York Right to Life PAC
- Susan B. Anthony List
That's a who's who of the "pro family" movement. Scozzafava's ouster from the race represents, among other things, the triumph of conservative Christian groups over the GOP establishment.
Other recent signs that the Christian right is alive and well: Most Republican contenders for the 2012 White House race have close ties to the movement: Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, Tim Pawlenty. And the fight to oppose healthcare reform has healed some of the 2008-era rift between religious conservatives and the GOP, further strengthening the movement's influence.