John McCain has been unable to mend fences with Dr. James Dobson and has publicly repudiated John Hagee. Robert Novak writes an engaging piece about McCain’s ongoing struggle to court evangelicals:
The evangelicals are not an isolated problem for the Republican candidate. Enthusiasm for McCain inside the Republican coalition is in short supply. During the four months since McCain clinched the nomination, he has not satisfied conservatives who oppose his positions on global warming, campaign finance reform, immigration, domestic oil drilling and how to ban same-sex marriages.
Among all constituency groups, McCain’s need for the evangelicals is most crucial. After supporting Jimmy Carter’s election in 1976, Christian conservatives switched to Ronald Reagan in 1980 and since have been indispensable for Republican presidential candidates. Dobson and Hagee, who are not merely inside-the-Beltway interest group chairmen or think tank managers, command substantial followings.
Read the whole thing. It’s another reason why McCain should strongly consider Huckabee as VP.