The Wide-Open Fight to Woo Iowa’s Evangelicals

 

The church-going, plainspoken, socially conservative voters of Iowa: They’re the key electorate for GOP candidates in that state’s curtain-raising presidential caucus. Unlike in years past, when the GOP field featured an obvious favorite of the Iowa evangelical crowd—Mike Huckabee in 2008, George W. Bush in 2000 and 2004—the 2012 Republican caucus is shaping up to be a wide-open battle. Huckabee has yet to say if he’s in or out, while Sarah Palin, who boasts a strong evangelical backing, remains on the bubble, watching her public support plummet.

Here’s Politico‘s Maggie Haberman with a smart look at how the 2012 GOP field might fare out in the heartland come January:

Both Huckabee and Palin skipped the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition confab on Monday night, yielding the stage to a second tier that included Newt Gingrich, Tim Pawlenty, Rick Santorum, Buddy Roemer and Herman Cain, all of whom are seeking the votes of the state’s influential evangelicals.

Because many of the likely-to-run hopefuls are close together on social issues, conservatives have one of their biggest candidate pools to chose from in some time…

National top-tier hopeful Mitt Romney will face struggles with some evangelicals, but he has a base to start from thanks to his competition in the caucuses in 2008, although how hard the former Massachusetts governor plans to compete in Iowa remains a question mark.

Other options for evangelical voters are Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who many believe will fare strongly in Iowa’s retail-based political system, and Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, a tea party favorite who seems poised to score voters who might have been with Palin.

 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate