This does not apply only to republicans, however. JFKs inaugural speech in 1961 consisted of many religious elements, as did Barack Obama’s speech in 2009, in which he spoke of ‘the knowledge that God calls on us to shape an uncertain destiny”. Many presidents have ridden to power on the back of religion. Presidents that appeal to the ‘three Fs’, faith flag and fail, or e ‘three Gs’ God, gays and guns, are favourites among the American people.
President Bush directly appealed to theses interests and 79% of evangelicals voted to re-elect Bush. Candidates such as Hilary Clinton, who ran for the Democratic candidacy, didn’t achieve success as it could be argued she did not play heavily enough on the concept of religion. John McCain did not appeal directly to the three Gs or Fs so it could be argued that this was the reason he failed to beat Obama in 2008.
One of the most important influences of the religious right is it’s infiltration in the republican party through the up and coming far-right movement know as The Tea Party. The TPM started life as a fiscally conservative group that believed federal government was too big and was spending too much. As the movement gathered support, it started to take on social issues, many of which were influenced by the religious right, as they took heavily conservative positions.
Many Tea Party candidates influenced the 2010 mid-term elections as they have voted in and took away the democratic majority in the congress. The tea party has removed the right wing of the Democrat party as they have pulled the Republican Party further right as they defeated many ‘Moderate’ Republican candidates. The religious right have also had a big influence in the media, through the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) which supports and publicises candidates that support their views.
Therefore, I would argue that the ‘religious right’ is highly influential in politics as they have recently made the republicans further right and the democrats further left. This has split American politics and made the parties different in their ideologies. For instance, they have also created conditions where the religion of a candidate is important in terms of the elections. The religious right has therefore broken the founding fathers wish to keep politics and religion separate.