LOGIN

Trump Absent from Iowa Evangelical Event, Providing Opening for Competitors

by Gabriel Martinez
7 comments
Iowa Evangelical Event

Several leading contenders for the Republican presidential nomination took advantage of Donald Trump’s absence to court a significant audience of Iowa’s evangelical Christians this past Saturday evening. The occasion was the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual banquet and town hall in Des Moines, an event the former president chose not to attend.

Among those in attendance were former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. The podium also featured remarks from Nikki Haley, a former South Carolina governor and Trump’s UN ambassador, Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and former Texas Representative Will Hurd.

Iowa’s Republican Governor, Reynolds, galvanized the audience by stating, “The journey to reclaim our country starts in Iowa, and it starts with you. Are you prepared to reclaim our nation?”

A crowd numbering over a thousand attendees also listened to Iowa Republican Congresswoman Ashley Hinson perform “Amazing Grace” on her violin, with many joining in song. The assembly comprised a significant number of committed and influential social conservatives, a group that has historically played a pivotal role in Iowa’s leading Republican caucuses. Senator Ted Cruz notably leveraged the support of this demographic to secure a win in the 2016 GOP caucuses.

Despite his absence from the event and other similar gatherings, Trump has maintained a substantial lead in the early GOP primary polls. His appeal remains robust among evangelical Christians and social conservatives in Iowa and beyond, bolstered in part by his three Supreme Court nominations that contributed to the overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision last year.

At a recent conference hosted by the Family Research Council in Washington, Trump asserted his commitment to Christian values, proclaiming, “I have fought tirelessly for the Christian community and will continue to do so for another four years in the White House. Every commitment I’ve made to the Christian community as a candidate has been fulfilled.”

The Saturday banquet was the final opportunity for a large assembly of Iowa’s evangelical conservatives to evaluate the candidates in person, as Trump was conspicuously absent. He had also skipped events with large turnouts in Iowa in April and June of this year.

While the issue of abortion consistently takes center stage at Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition events, the candidates were also questioned on matters like gender education in schools—a topic that has increasingly gained traction among social conservatives in recent years.

Governor DeSantis was actively engaged in various pre-banquet activities across Iowa. Earlier in the day, he had spoken at a town hall in the rural community of Red Oak and participated in a church event in Des Moines led by influential pastor Mike Demastus. DeSantis discussed religious liberty and criticized what he perceived as consistent efforts by the political left to infringe upon it.

Although DeSantis refrained from talking about his personal faith—a common practice among successful caucus contenders—he was the focal point of a prayer session involving multiple pastors.

Robin Star, a resident of Waukee, which lies just west of Des Moines, attended DeSantis’ church event. She expressed her satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade but argued that the credit shouldn’t solely go to Trump. Star conveyed her willingness to vote for Trump if he secures the Republican nomination, albeit with reservations about his ability to unite the party against incumbent President Joe Biden in the upcoming general election.

“The ultimate goal is victory,” Star said. “We simply must win.”

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Iowa Evangelical Event

Who are the prominent Republicans that attended the Iowa Evangelical event?

Former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy were among those in attendance. Other speakers included Nikki Haley, Senator Tim Scott, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and former Texas Representative Will Hurd.

Why was this event significant in the context of the Republican nomination?

The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s annual banquet serves as a key platform for candidates to address evangelical Christians, who have historically played a pivotal role in Iowa’s Republican caucuses. This particular banquet was the last large gathering before the caucuses where candidates could directly engage this influential demographic.

Was Donald Trump present at the event?

No, Donald Trump chose not to attend this event. However, he maintains a strong early lead in GOP primary polls and retains substantial support among evangelical Christians and social conservatives.

What were the key issues discussed at the event?

The issue of abortion took center stage, consistent with the event’s history. Candidates were also questioned on other topical concerns like religious freedom and gender education in schools, which have gained prominence among social conservatives in recent years.

What did Governor Ron DeSantis focus on during the event?

Governor Ron DeSantis discussed religious liberty and criticized what he perceives as the left’s consistent efforts to infringe upon it. He did not, however, delve into his own personal faith during the event.

What is the public opinion on Donald Trump among the evangelical community in Iowa?

Donald Trump remains popular among evangelical Christians and social conservatives in Iowa and beyond. His nominations to the Supreme Court have played a part in overturning the Roe v. Wade decision, thus strengthening his appeal to this demographic.

Who expressed reservations about Trump’s ability to unite the Republican Party?

Robin Star, a resident of Waukee, west of Des Moines, conveyed her willingness to vote for Trump if he secures the Republican nomination but expressed reservations about his capacity to unite the Republican Party against incumbent President Joe Biden in the general election.

More about Iowa Evangelical Event

  • Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s Official Website
  • 2024 Republican Primary Polls
  • Family Research Council’s Pray Vote Stand Conference
  • Roe v. Wade Supreme Court Decision Overview
  • Historical Significance of Iowa Caucuses
  • Profile of Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Overview of Key Social Conservative Issues

You may also like

7 comments

Dave M. September 17, 2023 - 12:46 am

Is it just me or are these events becoming more about showbiz than politics? Amazing Grace on violin, really?

Reply
Samantha R. September 17, 2023 - 2:06 am

DeSantis focused on religious liberty but didn’t talk abt his own faith? Seems like a missed opportunity there. Especially in Iowa.

Reply
John D. September 17, 2023 - 6:01 am

Wow, so Trump didn’t show up but he’s still leading the polls? That guy is like Teflon, nothing sticks to him.

Reply
Angela S. September 17, 2023 - 12:33 pm

Interesting that Robin Star would still vote for Trump but doesn’t think he can unite the party. Bit of a paradox, isn’t it?

Reply
Mitch T. September 17, 2023 - 3:49 pm

The battle for evangelical support in Iowa is always a big deal. These caucuses can make or break a candidacy. Everyone’s watching.

Reply
Cathy W. September 17, 2023 - 6:01 pm

Glad to see someone bring up gender education in schools. it’s about time that topic got some attention.

Reply
Fred K. September 17, 2023 - 9:23 pm

Abortion, religious freedom, gender education… the big topics are all there. But who will have the influence in the end? Thats the million dollar question.

Reply

Leave a Comment

logo-site-white

BNB – Big Big News is a news portal that offers the latest news from around the world. BNB – Big Big News focuses on providing readers with the most up-to-date information from the U.S. and abroad, covering a wide range of topics, including politics, sports, entertainment, business, health, and more.

Editors' Picks

Latest News

© 2023 BBN – Big Big News