Doubtful social conservatives giving Romney chance

By Philip Elliott

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, Oct. 8 2011 1:30 a.m. MDT

Republican presidential hopeful Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minn., gestures during a speech at the Values Voter Summit on Friday, Oct. 7, 2011, in Washington.

Evan Vucci, Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Wallets seem to trump pulpits for some voters this year, giving Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney a reason to court social conservatives meeting in Washington.

Romney's slated to address the annual Values Voters Summit on Saturday and hopes his economy-heavy appeal keeps winning over skeptical voters. During his 2008 presidential bid, Romney never was able to win over voters who were reluctant to back a Mormon or a candidate who shifted his positions on social issues.

But with the economy poised to be the top issue in the campaign, some voters at the summit say they're willing to give him a listen. In interviews with about two dozen conference participants, they seemed resigned to accept a compromise candidate best suited to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.

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