GREENVILLE, S.C. — South Carolina's Christian conservatives have both made and broken presidential campaigns.
No Republican candidate since 1980 has become the nominee without winning South Carolina and its Bible-driven voters. For them, a candidate's stance against abortion, gay rights and other social issues was paramount.1 comment on this story
But this year, the economy has changed the pecking order.
Evangelicals and the social issues crowd still matter. But that long-time pivotal constituency is far more concerned about paychecks and groceries.
The shift has pushed the religious Bob Jones University off candidates' to-do lists. The current generation of Joneses isn't keeping up the political beat that has had a national impact since Ronald Reagan first ran in 1980. University President Stephen Jones is said to lack the same interest in politics as his father, Bob Jones III.