Iowa's Evangelicals Softening Toward Romney

Monday, 09 Jul 2012 11:17 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Iowa’s evangelical conservatives rejected Mitt Romney in 2008 and again in the 2012 state caucuses, but they may be warming to him as the November general election approaches, if a recent internal poll is any indication.
 
According to the Des Moines Register, the Republican presidential nominee is now running “as strongly as conservative icon U.S. Rep. Steve King with voters in Iowa’s GOP-dominant” western region, based on internal campaign polling the newspaper obtained.
 
“That’s a good sign for Romney — there’s no such thing as a King/Obama voter,” the newspaper reported.
 
The last time Iowa’s evangelicals helped a Republican candidate win Iowa was in 2004, when every poll, including the Register’s, had Democrat John Kerry winning the state. But President George W. Bush ended up on top because the evangelical voter turnout in the western part of the state was much bigger than anticipated.
 
The president’s support among conservatives that year in the state turned out to be as strong as King’s, a fact that the GOP congressman’s former district director, Chuck Laudner, says helped win the state for Bush.
 
“It’s going to be 2004 all over again,” Laudner, who campaigned aggressively in Iowa this year for Rick Santorum, told the newspaper.

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