In a very transparent effort to try to appeal to America’s Christian conservatives, Mitt Romney will speak at the commencement of Liberty University this spring.

Liberty, an evangelical Baptist college founded by Rev. Jerry Falwell in 1971, is one of the largest ans most conservative private colleges in the country.

America’s fundamentalist Christians are wary of Romney, both because he’s a Mormon and because, well, he was the moderate governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007.

According to an article by Ethan Cole in the Christian Post:

Romney’s upcoming speech at Liberty University – which is expecting some 48,000 graduates and guests for its 39th Commencement ceremony – is seen as an effort to win over the evangelical vote and consolidate his base now that his greatest challenge to becoming the nominee – Santorum – has been removed.

In the latest New York Times/CBS News poll, 72 percent of white evangelicals said they would vote for Romney over President Obama. But only 27 percent of white evangelical Republican voters said they enthusiastically support Romney as the party’s nominee. Half of white evangelical Republican voters said they will back Romney with reservations, the poll found.

The swing through Lynchburg to address Liberty is traditionally part of the pattern of Republican presidential candidates. Ronald Reagan spoke there in 1980. George H.W. Bush came a decade later. Sen. John McCain gave a speech there in 2006. Even Rick Perry stopped by last year. [Image via]

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer