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A Senate Battle in Alaska?
Tex. Pastor Endorses McCain
John McCain picked up the support of Texas pastor John Hagee, an evangelical Christian who has made support for the state of Israel a centerpiece of his ministry.
"John McCain has publicly stated his support of the state of Israel, pledging that his administration will not permit Iran to have nuclear weapons to fulfill the evil dreams of President [Mahmoud] Ahmadinejad to wipe Israel off the map," Hagee, a televangelist and the pastor of Cornerstone Church, told reporters.
Hagee's endorsement could be of particular help to McCain in Texas, where the Arizona senator will face former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee on Tuesday. Huckabee, a former Baptist minister, has succeeded over the past two months in appealing to evangelical and conservative Christian voters, highlighting a schism in the Republican party. Huckabee was especially successful in the South and in Virginia, where he earned a 40 percent lead over McCain among conservative voters.
But with little doubt about McCain becoming the nominee, conservatives have begun to flock to his side. Asked what McCain could do to appeal to other religious conservatives, Hagee said he was confident that McCain's support for abortion restrictions and for Israel would help.
-- Michael D. Shear