A poll conducted by the Gallup organization in 2010 found that 40% of Americans believe God created humans in their present form - all science and fossils to the contrary be damned! That same poll revealed that 54% of Americans believe that humans developed (evolved) over millions of years.
The Republican party knows that the theory evolution is nonsense. Sarah Palin, for instance, has stated her belief that dinosaurs and humans walked the earth at the same time - sometime less than 6,000 years ago when, according to some rigid Christian fundamentalists, God created the earth.
Recently the Southern Baptist Convention surveyed 1,000 American Protestant pastors to get their take on the theory of evolution and some ancillary matters. Forty-six percent of those surveyed agreed that the earth is approximately 6,000 years old, while 43% disagreed. Seventy-four percent of the Protestant ministers surveyed believed that Adam and Eve were real people. Many of these same pastors usually aren't reticent about letting their congregations know how Jesus would have wanted them to vote.
So these Republican presidential candidates appear to know exactly what they are doing when they begin waving the flag and bearing the cross. They aren't just playing to the base, they're singing to the choir!
And Bible-thumpers vote!
Can I have an "Amen!"