Christian conservatives have become the focus of Republican presidential candidates who are keen to garner the support of this large group who could be essential to winning a place at the White House in 2016.
According to a report by Reuters, Republican presidential hopefuls in Iowa and elsewhere have recently begun sounding a call to arms to Christian conservatives, describing what they say is an urgent threat to religious liberty.
The potential threat to religious freedoms is being highlighted by candidates keen to show that they are the ones to protect Christian conservatives from becoming side-lined or coming under fire because of their faith.
“In the past month, we have seen religious liberty under assault at an unprecedented level,” Senator Ted Cruz of Texas said at a forum sponsored by the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition outside Des Moines, according to Reuters.
In both the states of Indiana and Arkansas, bills aimed at protecting religious liberty were modified after critics, including a number of corporations, asserted the laws would allow discrimination against lesbians and gays.
These modifications are being used by some republican candidates to fuel political debate and to encourage those who felt the changes were unjustified to join their cause and to back them all the way to the White House.
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal said: “Corporate America needs to be careful.
“We’ve got legislation in Louisiana to protect people of faith and of conscience. … Corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana.”
The state of Iowa is known for being a battle ground in politics and for creating intense early campaigning efforts from presidential candidates who are keen to show the public where they stand on hot political issues.
Iowa is the first electoral contest in the long primary season, which creates this intensity however, candidates face a dilemma there and have to choose if they want to highlight the socially conservative principles that play well with Iowa’s more conservative Republican electorate or instead they can use this as an opportunity to stress a more mainstream conservatism that might play better later in the campaign, according to Reuters.
A win in Iowa, or even a high placement, can work to give any candidate more visibility as the race moves on to other states, however winning here does not guarantee any future success. Everyone will be waiting to see who comes out strong from Iowa and which tactic they choose to follow in this early stage of the presidential election campaign.