[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/08/15/preston.conservativess/art.mccaingeneric.gi.jpg caption="Sen. John McCain's campaign has downplayed any rumors of discontent among evangelical voters."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John McCain stood before a gathering of social conservatives here last fall and acknowledged that he had some work to do to convince them to support his presidential campaign.
"I know that before I can win your vote, I have to win your respect," McCain told attendees of the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit.
At the time, McCain was in a tense battle for the Republican presidential nomination, and support from every corner of the GOP base was needed. He was received politely by the audience, but when the Values Voter Summit held its straw poll to gauge support for the nine Republican presidential candidates, McCain landed in last place.