Christian Right and Regular Republicans Are Divided in Iowa by Gregory Hilton

Why do liberal Democrats win in states such as Iowa? Because some conservative groups are very foolish. The Iowa Family Policy Center (IFPC) is refusing to support former Gov. Terry Branstad (R-IA) in his comeback attempt. Branstad is pro-life and is definitely a social conservative. They will not support him because he is emphasizing jobs, taxes and the economy, rather than abortion and gay marriage. This silly in-fighting has led to 12 years of Democratic control in Iowa.
Polling conducted during the 2008 presidential primary showed six out of 10 people who attended Republican caucuses described themselves as evangelical Christians. According to the Des Moines Register, “Even if the IFPC’s decision causes only a slight drop in Branstad’s support, it could be decisive because the Democratic party has roughly 100,000 more members than the GOP in Iowa. Unaffiliated voters outnumber both Republicans and Democrats.
“Drake University political science professor Dennis Goldford said Branstad faces an almost impossible situation. ‘He’s got to find a way of pulling in the hard-core religious conservatives without alienating the independents he needs,’ Goldford said. ‘It can’t be a fire-breather, a cultural warrior.'”
Will the Christian right allow liberals to win again? It could happen and apparently they are in no mood to forgive State Senator Kim Reynolds, right. The Iowa Republican Convention is on Saturday and four term former Governor Terry Branstad has selected Reynolds as his running mate for Lt. Governor. Her nomination will be challenged by the evangelicals and they are expected to push Bob Vander Plaats who was defeated in this year’s primary by Branstad. Both Branstad, 63, and Reynolds, 50, are solid conservatives and the only disagreement they have with the evangelicals is their refusal to issue an illegal executive order overturning the Supreme Court decision in favor of gay marriage.
The whispering campaign against Reynolds concerns her two arrests in 1999 and 2000 for drunk driving. Senator Reynolds has been sober for the last 8 years and says “I sought help, and I’m a stronger person for it today. What I learned is that you don’t give up. You don’t lose faith. You hold your head high and move on.
”It’s been a very public experience that I’ve been through. A decade ago I did not think I would ever get the opportunity to serve in the State Senate, or to be standing here as a candidate for Lt. Governor. I could not have done it without a strong faith, a family that has stood behind me and a great network of support.”
On June 26th Reynolds defeated Vander Plaats at the convention by a vote of 56% to 44%.

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