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Shifting support

"Shifting support" Continued...

That idea may be producing a quiet side effect of Paul's candidacy: exposing pro-abortion supporters to his pro-life views. Paul said he regularly tries to "convert people" to a pro-life position by explaining from a medical and moral perspective that unborn life deserves legal protection. "And this has helped me convert many, many people," he said. "Many people have already told me, 'You made me think of this differently.'"

The congressman also said the moral problems that lead to abortion wouldn't be solved by passing laws. "The loss of morality caused us to get Roe v. Wade," he said. "So I argue that we better think about our family life and our morality because that is what will solve our problems more than passing laws."

That's a message that resonates with Jacob Johnson. The 25-year-old Greenville resident is an evangelical and a Paul supporter who likes the candidate's small-government views. But he also likes his pro-life stance and was glad to hear the other candidates shared those convictions: "I was impressed really with all of them." Johnson added that after hearing their views he might consider voting for one of the other GOP candidates in a general election if Paul doesn't win the nomination.

But he's pulling the lever for Paul on Saturday and said he hopes that others will think about the candidate's message about underlying problems that the government can't fix.

"People want to make a difference by voting and legislating-and that's part of it-but they feel like it gets them off the hook for actually going out and getting involved in people's lives and actually making a positive influence," Johnson said. "But if your idea of making a difference is just getting up on Saturday and going to the polls, then don't even bother."

The four remaining GOP candidates will square off Thursday night in a nationally televised debate from Charleston, S.C.

Jamie Dean
Jamie Dean

Jamie lives and works in North Carolina, where she covers the national political beat and other topics as news editor for WORLD. Follow Jamie on Twitter @deanworldmag.

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