By Bobby Ross Jr. | Religion Unplugged
Is this heaven?: No, it’s Iowa. But not the one with Kevin Costner.
“The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Spring Kick-off event on Saturday represented the first cattle call of the year, a forum for GOP candidates to court an indispensable voting bloc,” Christianity Today’s Kelsey Kramer McGinnis explains.
The key takeaway of McGinnis’ interviews with voters: “The world feels out of control. They want someone who will fix it.”
Trump vs. Pence: At New York Magazine, political columnist Ed Kilgore writes about former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence and the “struggle for the souls of Iowa evangelicals.”
In (somewhat) related news, Pence testified Thursday before a federal grand jury investigating efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn the 2020 election, The Associated Press’ Eric Tucker reports.
Among Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition attendees, “Trump remained a hero to many in the crowd though interviews with nearly two dozen attendees demonstrated the opportunity — and obstacles — for those seeking to challenge him,” according to AP’s Michelle L. Price.
Eat mor chikin: The Des Moines Register’s Katie Akin and Galen Bacharier summed up the Iowa event this way:
A bevy of Republican presidential hopefuls courted Iowa’s religious conservatives Saturday night, pledging their opposition to abortion and transgender medical care for minors.
About 1,000 Iowa Republicans attended the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition spring kickoff event in Clive. The smell of Chick-fil-A boxed dinners filled the crowded venue as attendees waited to hear speeches from declared and potential 2024 candidates, including former Vice President Mike Pence and, over a live video call, former President Donald Trump.
The Republicans’ first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses in Iowa are set for Feb. 5, 2024 — about nine months away. In case you missed it, the Democrats have “nixed Iowa from the premier spot on the party’s nominating calendar.”
This column appears in the online magazine Religion Unplugged.
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