So if and when John McCain becomes the Republican nominee he'll begin to reach out to Evangelicals. That effort is already underway.
My sources tell me McCain has actually picked up the phone and called some religious leaders around the country. But besides that, a senior McCain campaign aide tells me that they will also be relying heavily on people like Sam Brownback, Ted Olson, and Gary Bauer to make the case for McCain as well.
The sales pitch to social conservatives is basically this: McCain is solidly pro-life, he'll be good on judges, he's tough on fighting radical Islam and do you really want a Democrat in the White House?
On the judges issue the argument could be a compelling one. The McCain camp will argue the following: With more than a few Supreme Court Justices getting up there in age, who do you want nominating judges? McCain or Obama/Clinton? Roe v Wade and other significant issues may hang in the balance.
Let's also remember one other very important factor. McCain is seen as a war hero. A true patriotic American. Even the Democrats say that. Believe me, this will be an important part of the equation going forward. The reason McCain did so well with Evangelicals in South Carolina was because they see him as a patriotic American war hero. They like that about him. It resonates with people but especially Evangelicals.
Does McCain have work to do among Evangelicals? Sure he does. McCain's support for embryonic stem cell research and his opposition to a federal marriage amendment don't help his cause, but let's keep this in perspective. It's not like McCain is polling in the single digits among Evangelicals. He's getting his share and the serious outreach hasn't even really begun yet.