The Iowa GOP caucuses, the home field of the social conservative -- where former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee turned out the evangelical vote on his way to a victory, and where noted religious activists can be just the endorsement a campaign needs to win the first state in the primary process. In 2008.
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The evangelical vote in Iowa this year has been hard to pin down. Or rather, it's been moving from candidate to candidate during the various surges in the state, mirroring the more general faction of GOP voters that would like to nominate anyone but Mitt Romney. But as the January third caucuses approach, Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has moved to the top of the heap...presenting pundits with a problem. The conventional wisdom is that Paul can't or won't make a play for those voters -- that they are strictly the territory of Christian firebrand candidates Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN), Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R), and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum (R).
Except, the numbers show evangelical voters haven't coalesced around any of those candidates. And Paul, who has never actually suffered with this voting bloc, is picking up more and more as he rises to the top in Iowa.