GOP field leaves SC's religious right uninspired

By Charles Babington

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, Jan. 19 2012 12:00 a.m. MST

Republican presidential candidate, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum greets during a campaign stop at the Beacon Drive-In restaurant, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2012, in Spartanburg, S.C.

David Goldman, Associated Press

GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Greenville-Spartanburg area of South Carolina is home to many evangelical voters. That should make it prime political ground for conservative Republican presidential candidates like Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Rick Perry.

Yet none of them seems to have captivated this area's religious conservatives ahead of Saturday's presidential primary.

South Carolina's religious conservatives are deeply worried about the country, and thoroughly convinced that President Barack Obama must go. But in interviews this week with The Associated Press at several religious and political events, nearly all GOP voters expressed greater interest in God and the Christian community than in politicians and government.

They exhibited only the vaguest hopes that this year's elections will make a real difference.

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