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Social and religious conservatives here blanch.

“What would a truce look like?” asked Danny Carroll, who is with the conservative group the Family Leader, which led the charge against the judges. “To those true believers, other things just don’t get them out of bed in the morning. If you called a truce, people would just say ‘I’ll stay home and do something else.’”

Chuck Hurley, who heads the conservative Iowa Family Policy Center, has nothing but disdain for those seeking to minimize social issues.

“Anybody who calls a truce when the abortion clinics are running 24/7 is not a true pro-lifer,” said Mr. Hurley. “That’s giving up the battle.”

Social and religious conservatives showed their might earlier this month, when 1,500 of them gathered in a suburban Des Moines church to hear a pitch from five potential presidential candidates - and remind them not to stray too far from their religious base.

“If you turn your backs on the pro-family, pro-life constituency you will be consigned to permanent minority status,” veteran religious activist Ralph Reed told the cheering throng at the gathering.