Herman Cain, who suspended his presidential campaign this weekend after cascading reports of personal failings, is the exception. American voters are increasingly tolerant when it comes to private behavior.
The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, the start of the 2012 U.S. presidential race, are only a little over a year away. For more than four decades, at this stage, Republicans had either an incumbent president or an established front-runner who goes on to win the nomination.
The Republican Party’s socially conservative base, conflicted for months over which presidential candidate to back, is increasingly coalescing behind Rick Santorum in a shift that some observers say may energize his bid and slow Mitt Romney’s momentum toward the nomination.
Robert Jeffress, a prominent Southern Baptist pastor who supports Texas Governor Rick Perry for president, provoked a predictable uproar this month when he labeled the Mormon faith of one of Perry’s rivals, Mitt Romney, a non-Christian “cult,” and suggested that Romney’s beliefs should disqualify him for Christian support.
A discussion about religion in politics with president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission Richard Land, E.J. Dionne of The Washington Post, Jon Meacham of Random House and Matthew Dowd of ABC News and Bloomberg News. (Source: Bloomberg)