An interesting article at Politco this week discusses a phenomenon going on right now called "the Huckabee Primary." The article asserts that many of the candidates for president are trying to capture the "Huckabee voters" by cozying up to evangelical/religious voters and trying to appear as staunchly socially conservative as possible.
It is an interesting contest that we have in American politics where politicians do their best to appeal to voters' religious sensibilities. But the part of the article that I thought was most interesting was how splintered the evangelical voting bloc is this time around.
This election cycle, there are many staunch social conservatives and religious darlings. With so many social conservatives in the race, the possibility of a divided social conservative base is a very real possibility. Last election cycle, there was really only one candidate, Mike Huckabee, who fit the bill. But this time around there is Rick Santorum, Michele Bachman, Tim Pawlenty, and others (perhaps Sarah Palin) who are fighting for the Huckabee voters.
With so many candidates in the race who are trying to appeal to the religious voters, I think that a divided voting bloc among religious voters is the most likely outcome. So just like how a moderate, John McCain, won the nomination last time due to Huckabee and Romney dividing the conservative base, Romney stands to benefit from a divided evangelical/religious base this time around.