“The report didn’t mention religion much, if at all,” said Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association. “You cannot grow your party by distancing yourself from your base, and this report doesn’t reinforce the values that attracted me and many other people into the Republican Party in the first place. It just talks about reaching out to other groups.”

Sandy Rios, an Evangelical radio host and Fox News contributor, said the RNC report’s proposals amount to a “namby-pamby” abdication of religious values, and warned that the party could soon lose the grassroots engine that has powered its electoral victories for decades…

In the 2008 Republican primaries, they were split between a culture-warring Mitt Romney and the insurgent Baptist minister Mike Huckabee, and neither won. Then, in 2012, conservative Evangelicals vacillated between a bevy of Republican candidates, allowing the well-financed Mormon guy — who had dropped the social agenda rhetoric and was now just talking math — to navigate his way around them and grab hold of the nomination.

“They have really been in the wilderness since then,” said Patrick Millsap, who served as Newt Gingrich’s 2012 chief of staff.