Let's be honest. Mitt Romney isn't a great singer and he's probably no Fred Astaire on the dance floor. Yet if he wants to make it onto the inauguration stage, he will need the help of a crucial dance partner. Who is his Ginger Rogers? Mitt Romney meet "The Teavangelicals.
Who are these "Teavangelicals?" They are conservative Christians (typically evangelical) who strongly support the Tea Party agenda or are active in the Tea Party movement. I coined the term after the 2010 Midterm Elections when I noticed that the Tea Party was filled with evangelical Christians. Without them, Tea Party Libertarians would be lucky to fill half a teacup. But why did they join a movement that doesn't address traditional social issues? I know this may come as a shock to some in the mainstream media but evangelicals don't just care about the life and marriage issues. As I detail in my newly released book called, "The Teavangelicals: The Inside Story of How the Evangelicals and the Tea Party are Taking Back America," the ties that bind evangelicals to the Tea Party are simple. They see the movement as a way to reclaim this country's Judeo-Christian heritage, reduce taxes along with the size and scope of the federal government, return to fiscal responsibility and restore free market principles. Teavangelicals believe Holy Scripture supports these views. They have a U.S. Constitution in one hand and a Bible in the other. In essence, many in the movement see this in spiritual terms comparing it to the Great Awakening before the American Revolution.
You may ask why Romney needs Teavangelicals since conventional wisdom states that he must court Independent swing voters to win The White House. The answer lies in the numbers and everyone knows how much Romney the businessman loves raw data! Simply put, Teavangelical turnout is the key to Romney's political future. From now until Election Day, Teavangelical type organizations will be fully mobilized. This was not the case four years ago when the Obama campaign was too much to handle. Since then, Teavangelicals have risen from their couches thanks to what they see as a perilous future for the grandchildren and real trepidation about what another four years will look like with President Obama at the wheel. In one vivid example, Ralph Reed's Faith and Freedom Coalition, an influential group bursting with Teavangelicals has the cell phone numbers and emails of thirteen million evangelicals. They're using that information to electronically distribute voter guides and contact them directly with the firm belief that they can add three million new evangelical voters in 2012, possible as high as seven million. Many of these new Teavangelical voters will cast their anti-Obama ballot in the key swing states of Florida, Virginia and Ohio. If that happens, it's game, set match. President-elect Romney can send the thank you note to Teavangelical volunteers across the country.
While some Teavangelicals may be motivated to come to the polls for Romney because of three plus years of President Obama's term (a luxury John McCain did not have), this is not going to happen by osmosis. Politically active Teavangelicals may pull the lever for Romney but they may not bring a friend to the polls and might not organize for him either. Teavangelicals are the worker bees, the lifeblood of good campaign organizing in the Republican Party. Romney cannot afford for them to sit idly by. He needs to show a little political leg. A good Vice-Presidential pick leading up to the GOP Convention would be a start but what would resonate even more with Teavangelicals would be a stump speech that spoke to the morality of debt, a return to sacred Judeo-Christian principles and how good fiscal policy translates into healthy prosperous families. Weaving all of that together would strongly benefit Mitt Romney and make the sell to Teavangelicals a whole lot easier.
Whether or not Mitt Romney becomes president, Teavangelicals won't stop endeavoring to change the direction of America one city council meeting, one school board meeting and one out of touch legislator at a time. Do you want to know why you don't see the big Tea Party rallies anymore? It's because Teavangelicals are hard at work in their local communities attempting to make America a land where constitutionally conservatism wins the day. The 2010 Midterm Elections provided the first glimpse of change and in this current cycle we've seen even more Tea Party victories. But challenges surely lie ahead. Teavangelicals need to convince skeptical Americans that their message is mainstream; they need to make sure the movement doesn't get diluted with controversial social issues and they need to figure out how to all pull in one direction (Governor Scott Walker's victory in Wisconsin was a good sign). These tasks are not easy but you can be sure they'll be praying for victory. Speaking of praying, Mitt Romney better hope and pray that Teavangelicals turn out in force on Election Day. If they do, "Mitt Romney and The Teavangelicals" will be the hottest show in town.
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