It is striking how, despite blaming the party for ignoring their pleas against Romney, many leaders and activists on the Christian right fundamentally identify themselves with the GOP. The social-conservative project now, as much as ever, lives and dies on the fate of Republicans at the polls. Just as much of the conservative commentariat has begun calling for the party to put on a PR campaign for Latino voters, often referring to them as “natural Republicans,” conservative Christians have begun speaking of Hispanic-Americans as social conservatives who just don’t know it yet. Social conservatives believe the GOP will need them to reach out to socially conservative minority voters, a project that will both shore up the Christian right’s place in the party and bring in new bodies to vote for its agenda.
If the religious right has not reconsidered its symbiotic relationship with Republicans, it also remains convinced that its message maintains a broad appeal to the American electorate. There is a blatant contradiction here: they acknowledge a seismic cultural shift is shaking the ground beneath their coalition, but seem to believe this deep structural change can be addressed with little more than a recalibrated message.