Social conservatism remains key in Miss.

This is not an endorsement of any particular campaign or candidate, but I do feel compelled to make an observation on last week’s GOP primary for president.

Based on exit polling conducted for The Associated Press by Edison Research, among those who said that a candidate being a “true conservative” was the most important trait in making up their minds, Rick Santorum defeated the second-place finisher, Newt Gingrich, 52 percent to 34 percent. And among Mississippians who indicated that a “strong moral character” was the most important factor in choosing their candidate, Santorum soundly defeated all of his rivals. Simply put, he won because he was perceived to be a social conservative and man of character.

Such data, of course should not be surprising. According to a Barna poll in 2008, it was found that a strong majority of the nation’s conservatives read the Bible, attend a weekly religious service and pray to God, other than at religious services, during the week. In other words, conservative voters strongly value religion and traditional morality. This is particularly true in Mississippi.

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