The Christian Broadcasting Network's David Brody has been on a quest to spread the word about the so-called "Teavangelical" voting bloc, a hybrid of small-government enthusiasts and evangelical Christians. Brody, the chief political correspondent over at CBN News, originally coined the phrase while covering the Tea Party and its role in the U.S. political schema (he also explored the intriguing cohort in his book "The Teavangelicals").
While some on the left may dismiss these conservative voters, others, like Brody, realize that they have become an important subgroup of the overall electorate. In addition to social issues (they're generally pretty conservative in that area), these individuals are also concerned with the nation's finances, particularly when it comes to spending levels.
Brody further explained who the Teavangelicals are in an op-ed for The Huffington Post:
Who are these "Teavangelicals?" They are conservative Christians (typically evangelical) who strongly support the Tea Party agenda or are active in the Tea Party movement. I coined the term after the 2010 Midterm Elections when I noticed that the Tea Party was filled with evangelical Christians. Without them, Tea Party Libertarians would be lucky to fill half a teacup.
Here's more from a recent MSNBC interview between Brody and Andrea Mitchell:
"They see it all through a biblical worldview as it relates to returning to fiscal responsibility," Brody said during a conversation at the National Press Club on Wednesday. "They go to Proverbs and they talk about how a good person leaves an inheritance for their children's children. They talk about how the borrower is a slave to the lender. I can go on and on with Bible verses, but the point is that is exactly how they see the world."
Watch Brody further discuss these issues, below:
It seems Brody isn't alone in his belief that these individuals will become major players in the 2012 presidential election. CNN, too, posted a list of five reasons why the Teavangelicals matter. In it, Eric Marrapodi explains why this is a group that deserves scrutiny.
Here's a condensed list of the reasons why those with political inclinations should keep an eye out (as per CNN):
1. The 2010 mid-term elections: In 2010, the Tea Party swooped in and helped the Republicans take back the House of Representatives. Evangelicals, of course, comprised a large portion of those responsible for the victories (polls showed that nearly half of Tea Partiers in 2010 claimed to be part of right-of-center Christianity).
2. Teavangelicals could tip the scales in Romney's favor: Keeping a firm relationship between evangelicals and Tea Partiers creates a larger, more cohesive force. By meshing solid fiscal views and strong social opinions, a collective force with power is formed. Considering the current spending patterns and angst coming from people in both parties, Teavangelicals could tip the scales in the GOP's favor this November.
3. Teavangelicals shook things up during the 2012 presidential primaries: It wasn't all ponies and rainbows for Mitt Romney this year. Teavangelicals went for practically every other GOP candidate before finally embracing (and not all have yet) the contender. Romney had an up-hill battle, as more socially-conservative candidates appealed to many of the Tea Party-evangelical hybrid adherents.
4. The Teavengelicals don't plan on going away: Adherents remain active, although the Tea Party isn't in the headlines as much as it once was. Teavengelicals, though, are gaining power at the local level -- in school boards, city council and city commissions.
5. CNN claims that the Faith and Freedom Coalition's involvement could help fuel the concept. "It's only a matter of time before it becomes a crossword puzzle," Marrapodi quips.
What do you think about the Teavangelicals? Do you consider yourself one? Let us know in the comments section, below.