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Preparing for Primaries

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of

The first in the nation caucuses in my state are a little more than 60 days away, soon to be followed by crucial early primaries in New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Like many of you reading this, I also represent the 74 percent of Republican primary voters in a recent Des Moines Register poll that either hasn’t determined which presidential candidate to support or are willing to switch from the candidate they are currently supporting. However, unlike many of you, I get to cover the race and the candidates on a daily basis. Yet that access has done little to help me finalize my decision. To the contrary, if anything it’s only begged more questions.

Questions such as:

1.) How come some of the same conservative “leaders” and celebrity conservatives who whitewashed Mitt Romney’s far-left record of healthcare mandates, taxpayer-funded $50 abortions, giving 61 percent of his judicial appointments to Democrats, personally signing marriage licenses for 189 homosexual couples in Massachusetts, and flip-flopping on every other issue like illegal immigration and global warming, are now out there telling us that Romney isn’t a conservative?

2.) By the way, with a record like that, instead of asking if evangelicals can support a Mormon like Romney for president, shouldn’t we be asking how it is Mormons can support a candidate that is such a repudiation of their own moral teaching?

3.) If Rick Perry is really some stalwart conservative alternative to Romney, how come someone like Chuck Norris – perhaps the most outspoken Christian patriot TV and movie star in American pop culture – hasn’t endorsed for president the governor of his own state?

4.) Either the National Restaurant Association paid these women who made the sexual harassment charges against Herman Cain to go away or they did not. That is not a disputable fact. It’s either true or it’s not. Furthermore, the website responsible for the original report is guilty of defamation if the story is untrue. Cain’s wife has been MIA on the campaign trail. Cain has refused to sign the National Organization for Marriage’s pledge, and told CNN’s Piers Morgan he would not protect marriage as president. Cain’s campaign hid the fact one of its top advisers was a homosexual activist. If all of these facts were applicable to a Democrat, how many of those currently complaining about a smear campaign against Cain would be saying the exact opposite, and demanding a thorough explanation from that candidate or that he get out of the race?

5.) When there are disappointing stories such as the one currently making the rounds about Cain, should I first seek the objective truth as a Christian, or instead just blindly assume it’s the liberal media ought to get another perfectly innocent Republican?

6.) Do only Democrat politicians like John Edwards and Bill Clinton succumb to their base urges?

7.) Why is it that loyalty to the conservative cause is more about defending candidates/personalities and the Republican Party than advancing issues and adherence to the Constitution?

8.) How can someone be “pro life with exceptions?” After all, if you believe some human lives are not worthy of protecting given the circumstances of their conception, aren’t you essentially arguing the premise of the pro-baby murder position? Therefore, shouldn’t “pro-life with exceptions” really be labeled “pro-abortion with exceptions?”

9.) Why did Michele Bachmann essentially do everything wrong after winning the important Iowa Straw Poll in August, and does she have time to get back on track?

10.) Rick Santorum is the only candidate in the race to beat an incumbent Democrat in an election, and also be on the right side of key issues like opposition to TARP, life, marriage, and a peace through strength foreign policy. So why is he still languishing in the single digits in all the polls?

11.) Will Newt Gingrich’s attempt to reboot his campaign with a substantive discussion on the issues pay off?

12.) Will Ron Paul winning almost every straw poll under the sun will that translate to success at the ballot box?

13.)Are there any prominent endorsements like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee that could make a big impact on the race?

With the race so fluid, anything can happen—and it already has. For example, who would’ve predicted two months ago that Gingrich would be ahead of Perry in the polls? If you’re tired of media-anointed frontrunners and consultant-concocted candidates, this is your election. Since the race is so wide-open, it will encourage the candidates to get even bolder on the issues and the campaign trail.

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