Election results raise questions about Christian right's influence

Published: Friday, Nov. 9 2012 1:33 p.m. MST

In this Thursday Dec. 22, 2011 file photo, Republican presidential candidate, former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney, visits St. Paul's Lutheran Church while campaigning in Berlin, N.H. Tuesday's elections results have called into question how much influence conservative Christian leaders still have.

Charles Krupa, ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Our take: For decades, the conservative Christian right has been a dominate voting block. But, Tuesday's elections results have called into question how much influence conservative Christian leaders still have. Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com's Religion Editor, reports.

Washington (CNN) — For many conservative Christian leaders, it was a nightmare scenario: Barack Obama decisively re-elected. Same-sex marriage adopted by voters in some states. Rigorously anti-abortion candidates defeated in conservative red states.

On multiple levels, Tuesday's election results raised questions about the Christian right's agenda on American politics, eight years after the movement helped sweep President George W. Bush into a second term and opened the era of state bans on same-sex marriage.

"For the first time tonight, same-sex marriage has been passed by popular vote in Maine and Maryland," said Robert P. Jones, a Washington-based pollster who specializes in questions about politics and religion.

"The historic nature of these results are hard to overstate," Jones said. "Given the strong support of younger Americans for same-sex marriage, it is unlikely this issue will reappear as a major national wedge issue."

Read more about the possible decline of the Christian right on CNN.com.

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