Economy trumps social issues in conservative SC
11/11/2011 3:38:22 AM - AP News
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's Christian conservatives have both made and broken presidential campaigns.No Republican candidate since 1980 has become the nominee without winning South Carolina and its Bible-driven voters. For them, a candidate's stance against abortion, gay rights and other social issues was paramount.But this year, the economy has changed the pecking order.Evangelicals and the social issues crowd still matter. But that long-time pivotal constituency is far more concerned about paychecks and groceries.The shift has pushed the religious Bob Jones University off candidates' to-do lists. The current generation of Joneses isn't keeping up the political beat that has had a national impact since Ronald Reagan first ran in 1980. University President Stephen Jones is said to lack the same interest in politics as his father, Bob Jones III.