I am a native OKIE that has been a Missouri resident since 2005. CLEARLY STATED UP FRONT - I AM A CONSERVATIVE EVANGELICAL CHRISTIAN! To be more specific I am a conservative Southern Baptist and it DEFINITY affects my thinking and actions and how my vote goes. MY PRIMARY FOCUS IS MORAL CONSERVATISM - it defines me and is what drives my choices. I believe if you are a moral conservative first, then the other forms of conservatism will naturally fall into place. I have zero patience with persons that put their pocketbook ahead of morality....especially in politics. I think the Bible verse Matthew 6:33 puts this principle best..."But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." And in case you are not familiar with this verse...it is the Lord Jesus Christ speaking and he is talking about food, shelter, clothing, etc. when he said "all these things." Also, I believe in military strength, but know that an immoral/ungodly nation can have a great military and still fall IF God is not protecting them. So, moral conservatism must come first to the Christian voter. I have no respect or regard for anyone who claims "Christ" is their Lord who put anything ahead of his revealed will (ALL of the scriptures New and Old Testaments). Spreading the Gospel is FIRST and IS what will bring real change, but helping to maintain a clean and moral society is next. God's judgement will land hard on ungodly and immoral nations....that is the real lesson of Sodom and Gomorrah (BTW - Sodom's sins were not just the wickedness of homosexuality. It was ALL forms of sexual immorality to include adultery and fornication. Plus, things we as a nation - as yet - haven't sunk that low). HOWEVER, A VERY IMPORTANT THING IS THIS - I have compassion on those who are lost without knowledge of The Lord Jesus Christ. ALL sinners (no matter what they have done) can receive cleansing and forgiveness from Jesus Christ IF they will truly believe and trust in Him. But, the "salvation" that Jesus Christ provides is NOT just from the penalty of sin, but from the sin itself and the domination it had on the sinner. Salvation where there is no change and forsaking of sin, is not salvation...it is a delusion. A Christian will still sin, but it will not be the direction of their life and practice, and they will always seek God's forgiveness when they slip.
Moving on, I hold to all three legs of conservatism. I think my priorities would be (in relative importance):
Moral/Social Conservatism 45%
National Defense Conservatism 35%
Fiscal Conservatism 20%
I am Republican and have always voted for the Republican candidate for POTUS since 1976, when I first had a chance to vote. I was old enough in 1972, but busy with initial military training during the election. The only candidate I deeply regret voting for in the general election was Mitt Romney....it was a mistake to support the establishment GOP candidate and a devout Mormon. I won't repeat that mistake. If the primary process does not produce a candidate that (at a minimum) has real (willing to act on them) moral conservative views....I will not support them in a general election anymore.
I believe in responsible spending by the government, but I do not agree with extreme fiscal conservatism. Though, I am for a balanced budget (which is an example of "responsible" spending.)
During the 2016 Republican primary process, I WILL support the candidate that most strongly pushes moral/social conservatism (i.e. opposition to the homosexual agenda as a start). IF that is not a lead focus with them, they will not have my support. I am tired of compromising my morals at the ballot box.