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Sadie Fields, a Bush supporter and Christian Coalition activist, says she’s heard grumbles that Mr. Bush stood aside while the man he nominated for a federal appeals court appointment, Alabama Attorney General Bill Pryor, prosecuted that state’s popular chief justice, Roy Moore. Mr. Moore was forced from office after defying a federal court order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from the rotunda of Alabama’s State Judicial Building.

Mr. Knight points to Mr. Bush’s having “promoted the Ted Kennedy Leave No Child Behind education bill, which expanded an Education Department that social conservatives see as a fully owned subsidiary of the National Education Association, which has grown more stridently left wing in recent years. The NEA has boldly promoted the homosexual agenda for schoolchildren.”

Also, Mr. Knight said, Mr. Bush “upped the budget for the National Endowment for the Arts, which has boldly promoted the homosexual agenda for schoolchildren. The White House message to social conservatives was: ‘We don’t share your values, folks. We would rather impress the art elite at cocktail parties.’”

Mr. Bauer, a former Reagan White House adviser who was briefly a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination four years ago, said pro-life voters were dismayed by Mr. Bush’s repeated statements during the 2000 campaign that he would not make abortion a “litmus test” issue for judicial appointees. Since Mr. Bush took office, Mr. Bauer said, many of the same voters were disappointed by Mr. Bush’s ineffectiveness in pushing conservative bench nominees past liberal Democrats in the Senate.

Mr. Knight said runaway federal spending under Mr. Bush worries some social conservatives who “fear their children will become slaves to the government someday. It’s not just an economic issue. It’s about freedom.”

With more than eight months remaining until Election Day, American Family Association founder Don Wildmon said the president “has already upset the economic conservatives, and I know the problem he is having with evangelicals. … There is a major problem there.”