As Floridians prepare for weekend church and temple services in advance of Tuesday's GOP primary, a family group is dispatching an E-mail to 1.6 million state residents praising Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum while portraying Mitt Romney as soft on gay issues.
The "Report Card on the Natural Family," drawn up by the American Family Association, a group whose leader has backed Gingrich, shows that Romney fails in nine of 10 categories including gay marriage, gay adoption, and the Boy Scouts' bid to block gays from joining.
"As a Floridian, you are about to send a strong message to the rest of America about who our next president should be. As you know, the president of the United States wields tremendous power and has unmatched influence on laws and policies that affect children and families and our nation's virtues. Electing the wrong person could be disastrous. For this reason we suggest you review the following report card and vote with knowledge and confidence this Saturday," says the report card provided to Whispers.
Romney has dealt with many of these issues before, and a pro-Romney website says that he is a strong conservative on the issues.
For the former Massachusetts governor, the issue isn't as black and white as it is for many evangelical conservatives.
In New Hampshire, for example, he told the Nashua Telegraph that he has always opposed same-sex marriage but favors some gay rights. "I'm in favor of traditional marriage. I oppose same-sex marriage. At the same time, I don't believe in discriminating in employment or opportunity for gay individuals. So I favor gay rights; I do not favor same-sex marriage. That has been my position all along."
But with little time to fight back, the report card could ding the front-runner a bit in the conservative southern state as he, and Gingrich, face a wave of questions about their past positions.
It comes as the Gingrich team is growing concerned about 300,000 absentee ballots already cast and another 50,000 a day being sent in.