I have identified Michelle Bachman, a republican frontrunner as the leader who is written about in the media. The news article in question is from The New Yorker, and it is entitled LEAP OF FAITH: the making of a Republican Frontrunner. It is an analysis op/ed piece.
The article characterizes her in the first sentence as a ‘Tea party insurgent’ giving us a clue to her main power base which is the Republican Tea Party. She also identifies very strongly with the Christian Conservative movement. The writer notes that her appeal (to voters) is based on ‘right wing convictions, beliefs and resentments.’ Therefore she is essentially styled as a Tea Party, Right Wing and Christian Conservative leader. She has managed to clearly and convincingly articulate the Tea Party’s main talking points, a thing that has won her support among Conservatives.
In order to solidify her position against other candidates, she has called on supporters not to ‘settle’ by supporting an individual who does not stick to the fundamental beliefs that she does. This means that Christians who are not evangelicals or who differ in certain fundamental beliefs may not have the same faith as her. Her ‘don’t settle’ rallying call is meant to solidify her position among evangelical Christians. This would exclude her Mormon competitor.
The tea party is a populist grassroots organization that stands for conservative American political values. The Evangelical Christians, according to the National Association of Evangelicals are people who believe in the bible as an authoritative writing, are born again and share their faith. There are other things that distinguish evangelical Christians, but these are the major three. A Mormon would not qualify as an evangelical Christian since they have other sacred canon apart from the bible.
The performance of the group would not be high based on these power bases alone. For one, evangelical Christians are not all the same, they are a very diverse group and many have different beliefs concerning important issues. This means it would be difficult for any one leader – even a Republican leader – to gain the support of all evangelical Christians.
Further, even though Christianity is very popular in America, many Americans who identify themselves as Christians are actually nominal Christians and would not necessarily base their political decisions on faith alone.
Lizza, Ryan. Leap of Faith: The Making of a Republican Frontrunner. The New Yorker. Aug. 15th, 2011