GOPSocially conservative Republicans will be more successful this fall if they downplay their views on “abortion, gay marriage and other hot button social issues,” says Cameron Lynch, a GOP strategist writing in Politico yesterday.

Lynch urges candidates to follow the lead of Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, whose strategy of “biting his tongue…netted him the support of independents and moderate conservatives who either stayed home or voted for Obama in 2008,” he wrote.  ”Social and ‘movement’ conservatives, apparently adequately convinced that McDonnell was ‘one of them’, overlooked his unwillingness to preach their gospel on the campaign trail,” Lynch added.

Lynch’s advice is hard to argue with.  McDonnell breezed into office, and almost immediately began to implement a conservative social agenda that set back LGBT rights in the state.  The question now is this:  Will LGBT Americans and their allies allow this to happen in races across the country this year?