A new 60-second radio advertisement from the Mitt Romney campaign makes an appeal to South Carolina's socially conservative Republicans. Listen to the ad below:
The ad begins with this voiceover:
Mitt Romney has said to strengthen this nation we have to begin by strengthening the family, it’s the place where America’s future is born.
Today Christian Conservatives are supporting Mitt Romney because he shares their values: the sanctity of life, the sacredness of marriage, and the importance of the family.”
In 2007 Senator Jim DeMint said of Romney, ‘He feels passionately that the value of human life begins at conception.
The ad, featuring activists Mary Ann Glendon and James Bopp Jr. touting Romney's pro-life credentials, may also remind South Carolinians of DeMint's endorsement of Romney in 2008. DeMint has not endorsed a candidate for 2012 and has all but completely ruled out doing so before the January 21 primary in South Carolina. (He has said, however, that he believes Romney will win the primary.)
Will this ad help improve Romney's overall standing among both social conservatives in the Palmetto State?
Many evangelical and socially conservative voters reside in the Upstate and Midlands regions, where Mike Huckabee received most of his support in 2008. As this map from the New York Times shows, Huckabee dominated John McCain in several of these counties. With Romney as a stand-in for McCain as the more "moderate" Republican candidate this time around, he might expect similar numbers. Except without an obvious Huckabee stand-in--that's a position Gingrich and Santorum are both vying for--Romney could be looking to exploit that opening and corner at least some of the evangelical vote for himself.