Category Archives: South Carolina

Press Release: NOM Congratulates Newt Gingrich on South Carolina Win

Contact: Anath Hartmann or Elizabeth Ray at 703-683-5004

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Former Speaker of the House has signed NOM's Marriage Pledge

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Brian Brown, the president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) today congratulated GOP presidential contender Newt Gingrich on his victory in the South Carolina primary.

"NOM congratulates Newt Gingrich on his impressive come-from-behind victory in South Carolina." said Brown. "We have had three different victors in state contests thus far — Rick Santorum in Iowa, Mitt Romney in New Hampshire and now Newt Gingrich in South Carolina. What all these states have in common is that they have picked candidates who have signed NOM's Marriage Pledge. They are all winners and NOM supports each of them."

Gingrich, Santorum and Romney have each signed NOM's Marriage Pledge, which commits signatories, if elected, to taking specific steps toward preserving the institution of marriage as the union between one man and one woman. Rep. Ron Paul is the only remaining Republican presidential candidate not to have signed the pledge, and he is not considered to have any realistic chance of becoming the Republican nominee.

"It is now clear that the Republican Party will nominate a candidate who is strongly committed to preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Brown said. "We have succeeded in making the preservation of marriage a key issue in this race, and we will continue to do so throughout the primary season, and into the general election against President Obama."


To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray (x130) or Anath Hartmann at 703-683-5004.

Post-NH Poll: Romney, Gingrich Neck-and-Neck in South Carolina, Santorum Third

In the InsiderAdvantage/Majority Opinion Research poll of South Carolina primary voters [PDF] taken on January 11th (the day after the New Hampshire primary), Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich are within 2 points of each other with Santorum in 3rd:

Gallup: New Hampshire 2nd Least Religious State, South Carolina 3rd Most Religious

Gallup looks at the significant cultural contrasts between New Hampshire and South Carolina:

An analysis of more than 350,000 interviews conducted by Gallup in 2008 finds Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Arkansas to be the most religious states in the nation. Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts are the least religious states.

... The United States is generally a religious nation, although the degree of this religiosity varies across states and regions of the country. A robust 65% of all Americans (across the entire U.S. population) reported in 2008 that religion was important in their daily lives.

... Additionally, at least half of the residents of all but four states (Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, and Massachusetts) say religion is important in their daily lives.

This hasn't stopped some groups in New England, such as the Freedom From Religion Foundation, from taking out ads in Rhode Island which read: "Keep Religion Out of Politics."

PPP: In North Carolina, Santorum Is Tied with Obama; Romney Trails by 1

The Weekly Standard on democrat-leaning PPP's latest poll of North Carolina:

The latest PPP polling in North Carolina, the swing-state where the Democrats are holding their 2012 convention, shows Rick Santorum faring slightly better than Mitt Romney versus President Obama. The poll shows Santorum and Obama tied at 46 percent apiece in a hypothetical general election matchup, while Romney trails Obama by one percentage point — 46 to 45 percent.

... In truth, North Carolina is a state that the Republican nominee would likely have to win — and perhaps relatively handily — in order to win the presidency. Obama won nationwide by 7.3 points last time, but his winning margin in North Carolina was only 0.3. Evidence that Romney is trailing there doesn’t help strengthen his electability argument heading into the crucial GOP primary in neighboring South Carolina.

Reuters: South Carolina in Mind, Republicans Stress Social Stances

A look at what's ahead, after today's voting in New Hampshire:

...Abortion rights and same-sex marriage were among the issues that came up in the ABC News debate at Saint Anselm College in Goffstown, New Hampshire.

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum led the charge at the ABC News debate, declaring that marriage is a federal issue that should be defined as being between a man and a woman - even though he said in the same breath that the question of same-sex couples to adopt children was a "states rights" issue.

... South Carolina, which holds its primary on January 21, has a heavy concentration of social conservatives who are thought more willing to assess a candidate based on his or her views on abortion or gay marriage.

As in Iowa, where Santorum's campaign sprang to life, about 60 percent of Republican voters in South Carolina typically identify themselves in exit polls as born-again or evangelical Christians. Among that demographic in Iowa, Santorum finished first, with 32 percent support; Romney was at 14 percent, according to the Pew Forum on Religion and Republic Life. -- Reuters

Gary Bauer Campaigns For Santorum in South Carolina

ABC News reports:

At Stax Restaurant, where the fundraiser was held, he was endorsed by Christian conservative leader Gary Bauer. Bauer lauded Santorum saying since he worked for Ronald Reagan he “gave up on the idea that I would ever find another Ronald Reagan.”

“Then over the last year or so, I’ve known Sen. Santorum for a while and I’ve liked him, I’ve watched him in the debates. I’ve watched him take a stand on things that other people wouldn’t take a stand on, but over the last year I’ve watched him as he’s gone out among the American people to talk about how to make this country a shining city upon a hill again,” Bauer said. “And suddenly I listened to him and I realized that the next Ronald Reagan was standing in front of me this whole time and I just hadn’t been paying much attention.”

Despite Santorum’s consistent campaign trail comparisons of himself and Reagan he said he “shrink(s) from that to be compared with Ronald Reagan because he was my hero.”

Gary Bauer Endorses Rick Santorum

Alexander Burns at Politico:

Social conservative leader Gary Bauer will endorse Rick Santorum for president this weekend, a Santorum campaign source confirmed.

The endorsement, which was first reported by the Washington Post, will come during Santorum's planned visit to South Carolina.

The support from Bauer, a former Family Research Council leader who ran for president in 2000, may help Santorum position himself as the consensus Christian conservative candidate in the GOP field.

Bauer is one of a number of social conservative solons who have conferred in recent days in an attempt to coalesce behind a single Republican White House hopeful.

New PPP Poll of South Carolina: Romney 30%, Gingrich 23%, Santorum 19%

Democrat-leaning polling firm PPP released a new South Carolina poll just before tonight's New Hampshire GOP debate. Some of their findings:

Mitt Romney's taken a modest lead in South Carolina. He's at 30% there to 23% for Newt Gingrich and 19% for Rick Santorum. None of the other candidates hit double digits- Ron Paul at 9%, Rick Perry at 5%, Jon Huntsman at 4%, and Buddy Roemer at 1% round out the field.

... Gingrich may be in second place right now but the candidate who would have the best chance of beating Romney in South Carolina is Santorum. He edges out Romney as the candidate with the best favorability rating at 63/21.

... Finally it's important to note how truly up in the air the South Carolina race is. 45% of voters are either undecided or open to changing their minds in the next two weeks. And when we asked folks who they thought had run the strongest campaign in the state 49% said they weren't sure, speaking to the fact that the campaign there really hasn't started yet. Romney's in the lead for now but a Gingrich or more likely Santorum surge certainly seems within the realm of possibility.

Post-Iowa South Carolina Poll: Romney 27%, Santorum 24%, Gingrich 18%

Rasmussen Reports polled South Carolina yesterday and found:

What a difference a caucus makes. Rick Santorum who two months ago had one percent (1%) support among likely South Carolina Republican Primary voters now is running a close second there with 24% of the vote.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey in the Palmetto State finds former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney still in the lead, earning 27% support from likely GOP Primary Voters, up from 23% in early November. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is in third with 18% of the vote, followed by Texas Congressman Ron Paul at 11%.

... In the first Rasmussen Reports survey of the South Carolina Republican Primary race in November, Georgia businessman Herman Cain came in first with 33% support, followed by Romney and Gingrich. Cain has since dropped out of the race.

"Santorum is Poised to Win South Carolina"

The Charlotte Observer:

Rick Santorum has lagged near the bottom of the pack in South Carolina, mired below 3 percent in most polls.

That's despite the fact that he's spent more time in the state than any of his Republican presidential rivals.

But since he virtually tied former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Tuesday's Iowa caucuses, Santorum's South Carolina backers expect those numbers to climb.

"There are two viable candidates coming out of Iowa, that's Romney and Santorum," said former U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett of Westminster, Santorum's state chairman. "Santorum is poised to win South Carolina."

Michele Bachmann to End Campaign, Rick Perry Heads to South Carolina

Michele Bachmann has decided to suspend her presidential bid after a disappointing showing in Iowa:

Michele Bachmann ended her bid for the Republican presidential nomination Wednesday, hours after a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Iowa caucuses.

The Minnesota congresswoman suspended her campaign, a legal technicality that will allow her to continue to raise and spend campaign funds.

"Last night the people of Iowa spoke with a very clear voice and so I have decided to stand aside," Bachmann told a crowd of supporters in West Des Moines. But, she added, "I will continue fighting to defeat the president's agenda of socialism."

"It is safe to say we don't see a viable way forward," a Republican source familiar with Bachmann's campaign told CNN before the announcement. -- CNN

Rick Perry, meanwhile, who said last night he was going back to Texas to decide if he sees a way forward, promised via Twitter that he had decided to continue to South Carolina.

Video: Top GOP Candidates On Marriage & Religious Liberty at Palmetto Freedom Forum

Here are some highlights from top GOP presidential candidates' responses at the Palmetto Freedom Forum which took place in South Carolina this Monday, co-moderated by NOM Founding Chairman Dr. Robert George.

Michele Bachmann:

Mitt Romney:

Newt Gingrich:

Hermain Cain:

We'll have more video highlights soon -- so stay tuned!

Marriage Takes Center Stage in Presidential Debate

Elizabeth Ray or Mary Beth Hutchins at 703-683-5004

Top Candidates Commit to Pick VP Nominee Who Supports Traditional Marriage

"Every GOP candidate has said that he or she personally believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and each of the leading candidates has signed NOM's Marriage Pledge."

- Brian Brown, President of NOM -

WASHINGTON, DC - All the Republican candidates for president appearing at today's South Carolina debate today who were asked about their vice presidential nominee pledged to pick someone who shares their strong support for traditional marriage. The commitments were made at the Palmetto Freedom Forum Presidential Debate in South Carolina by Mitt Romney, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain. Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul also attended the debate, but they were not asked about their VP pick.

"Supporters of marriage as the union of one man and one woman saw an informed, dedicated field of presidential candidates not only express their own personal support for traditional marriage, but the three who were asked all pledged to pick a VP nominee who similarly is dedicated to preserving marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). "Along with Rick Perry and Rick Santorum who did not attend the debate, this is the strongest pro-marriage demonstration by presidential candidates that we have witnessed in years. Every GOP candidate has said that he or she personally believes that marriage is between a man and a woman, and each of the leading candidates has signed NOM's Marriage Pledge."

NOM's Marriage Pledge has been signed by Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum, and previously was signed by Tim Pawlenty. Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich have not signed the pledge. It commits the candidates to support a federal amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman, appointing Supreme Court Justices and an Attorney General who will apply the original meaning of the Constitution, vigorously defend the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court, establish a presidential commission on religious liberty, and advance legislation to return to the people of the District of Columbia their right to vote on marriage.

"NOM commends these candidates for their personal leadership on marriage and for committing to appoint a vice presidential nominee who similarly is committed to taking concrete action in office to preserve marriage as the union of one man and one woman," Brown said. "We commend the debate organizers, American Principles Project, for structuring a presentation that allowed the candidates to discuss issues in depth and to field insightful questions from a panel of conservative leaders.

NOM's founding Chairman, Robert George, joined US Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC) and Congressman Steve King (R-IA) in questioning the presidential candidates in the South Carolina debate.

To schedule an interview with Brian Brown, President of the National Organization for Marriage, please contact Elizabeth Ray, [email protected], (x130) or Mary Beth Hutchins, [email protected], (x105) at 703-683-5004.


Prof. Robby George: "The Man the Campaigns Dread Facing"

Political reporter Jon Ward at the Huffington Post:

"...the sleeper threat will be the third panelist asking questions Monday in Columbia: Robert George, a Princeton professor who [formerly chaired] the National Organization for Marriage.

George, a 56-year old constitutional scholar who leads a new vanguard of conservative culture warriors, will force each of the candidates to articulate, in detail, where they stand on both constitutional issues and also on some of the most touchy social issues of the day, pressing them when their answers are not specific or substantive enough.

... "I think we need renewed fidelity to our old principles, and I think they're all going to agree with that, in theory. They're all going to agree with that as a statement," George said in an interview with The Huffington Post. "They're all going to say, 'Oh yeah, we don't need new principles, even though we have new challenges -- in some ways, unprecedented challenges."

"OK, fine. Once we get past that soundbite, what does it mean?" he said.

In addition to Perry, the candidates taking part will be former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), and former Godfathers's Pizza CEO Herman Cain.

... George said he is aware that many of the candidates would prefer not to talk in detail about such topics as abortion, gay marriage, and affirmative action.

"Politicians are … more comfortable talking about money than they are about fundamental principles of right and wrong," George said. "They're more comfortable talking about how to do things efficiently, how to do things rationally, where rationality is a kind of instrumental rationality: turning the economy around, getting new jobs, that kind of thing -– than they are about moral issues that are deeply controversial, that touch people in the heart, not just in the pocketbook."

Watch the Palmetto Freedom Forum live here!

Ranking the GOP Candidates on Marriage in This Debate

Assuming the marriage question is asked, I will be blogging/ranking the candidates on their answers on marriage.  Can they explain why they support marriage?  Let's find out.