According to an October Rasmussen poll, here, in order, are the 10 issues most important to voters: economy, health care, gov't ethics and corruption, taxes, energy policy, education, Social Security, immigration, national security/War on Terror, Afghanistan.
I don't see anything about religion, abortion, gay marriage, etc. in that list, leading me to believe that time spent discussing social subjects is time hijacked away from the issues that can win voters. Squabbling over social issues is exactly what the Dems want.
The "far right" may stay home if the GOP ignores social issues, but they won't vote Dem. Better to have worked the issues of interest to the swing voters, especially when BO provided such a easy target on the economy.