Trump might have the lead in Iowa, but he has one big weakness

Published August 30, 2023

Washington Post

ORANGE CITY, Iowa — It would be easy to conclude from the polls that Donald Trump will cruise to victory in Iowa’s caucuses in January. But spend a week in the state, as I did recently, and it becomes far less certain that the former president will start off the primary season with an early victory.

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There’s one big reason for this: Iowa’s evangelical Christian community is not yet sold on him.

All the campaigns know that the state’s evangelical voters are key to winning here. Their choice has won the past four caucuses, and their early backing for Pat Robertson in 1988 and Pat Buchanan in 1996 propelled their national campaigns. If Trump is going to lose, it will be because evangelicals have weighed him on the scales and found him wanting.

Continue reading at the Washington Post.

Henry Olsen is a Washington Post columnist and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. He was the Thomas W. Smith distinguished scholar in residence at Arizona State University for the winter/spring 2023 semester.

Henry Olsen, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, studies and provides commentary on American politics. His work focuses on how America’s political order is being upended by populist challenges, from the left and the right. He also studies populism’s impact in other democracies in the developed world.

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