If anyone is expecting a different Republican Party, more secular with less religion inserted into government, forget that. It is starting down the same path it did in the 2012 election with the far right organizing to put their favorite evangelical in as the Republican Presidential nominee.
Candidates for 2016 are already making calls on Christian fundamentalist organizations and conferences asking for endorsements. The organizations, themselves, are holding planning conferences laying out the Christian requirements for candidates they will endorse. The Iowa caucuses need fundamentalist Christians to show up and the process of finding them has started.
My impression is, while it is necessary for the Party to field a secular candidate with a broader agenda, the task of fielding one will be more difficult in 2016 than it was in 2012. The defeat in primaries of the most religious candidates in 2012 was not seen as due to lack of appeal, but of a need to redouble its efforts.
Another way of saying this is the polarization of our politics has not stopped. Instead, it is becoming more polarized.
Evangelicals who post here on the comment page have complained Mitt Romney is not an evangelical and lost. Why not, they argue, nominate a real Bible thumper and things may turn out better.
There is a basic dilemma everyone knows, but few talk about. It is the desire of evangelicals to regulate people’s personal lives more while talking up “less government”.
Voters get this.