Byline: Tony Perkins, SPECIAL TO THE WASHINGTON TIMES
President Obama knows what this election is about. It's about values - about whose values will govern America's future. Speaking to the Human Rights Campaign last weekend, Mr. Obama said: I have to make sure that our side is as passionate and as motivated and is working just as hard as the folks on the other side, because this is a contest of values. This is a choice about who we are and what we stand for. And whoever wins this next election is going to set the template for this country for a long time to come.
This contest will be front and center at this coming weekend's Values Voter Summit. Grass-roots activists, representing one of the nation's largest voting blocs, will converge on our nation's capital to hear from the top GOP presidential candidates, who will take the stage at the sixth annual summit.
We have heard some say that this election year, candidates can safely tune out values voters because only the fiscal issues really matter. But the numbers don't lie. A Barna survey from April 2011 finds that evangelicals continue to represent nearly half of Republican primary voters. Thus, they hold a significant sway over who is chosen to be the GOP presidential nominee.
Values voters are not only a large voting bloc, they are a consistent voting bloc. Barna notes, Evangelical Christians distinguished themselves by their consistency. The issues that mattered to evangelicals in 1992 are the same issues that matter to them today. Some might pass this off as being out of touch, but as Barna explains, Evangelicals' perspectives have remained stable, because they're based on a worldview that doesn't shift with the ebb and flow of cultural preferences and fads.
The GOP presidential candidates recognize and support these timeless values. They are all pro-life. They all support marriage as the union of one man and one woman. The candidates who have strayed from these core values have owned up to it. This is important as well, in that all candidates know they cannot win the primary, let alone the general election, without the enthusiastic support of values voters.
The Values Voter Summit will test each candidate's ability to motivate its base to get out and cast a vote in the summit's straw poll. …