Faith takes center stage at Iowa GOP forum

Campaign 2016
by Kent Covington & Nick Eicher
Posted 4/29/15, 01:58 pm

The staff of The World and Everything in It has profiled 22 possible 2016 presidential candidates in its “White House Wednesday” series. Now they take a look at who’s ahead and who’s making moves as the big campaign gets closer.

Faith and freedom. Some of the first votes in early 2016 will be cast in Iowa, where GOP presidential hopefuls gathered this past Saturday. At the Iowa Faith & Freedom Summit, every potential candidate who took the stage warned about threats to religious freedom, but none more forcefully than Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. “Corporate America is not going to bully the governor of Louisiana when it comes to religious liberty,” Jindal said, referencing how some corporations sided against the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in Indiana. Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, both of whom are expected to formally announce their campaigns next week, echoed Jindal’s sentiments. “We are criminalizing Christianity in this country by telling people that hold to an orthodox, biblical worldview of biblical marriage … you will now be guilty of discrimination,” Huckabee said.

Tarnished rep? Hillary Clinton’s image took a hit this past week over a scandal involving the Clinton Foundation, reported in a new book called Clinton Cash. The Clintons have survived one scandal after another, but Bill and Hillary Clinton are two different people with different skill sets. And it’s easier for scandals to take down a candidatethan a sitting president. In a recent Quinnipiac poll, 54 percent of respondents, including 61 percent of political independents, said Hillary Clinton is not honest and not trustworthy. 

Getting serious. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has been more active lately in early primary states, presenting himself as the most experienced candidate in the field. He points not only to his record as Ohio governor, but also his years in Congress. He claims that when he was chairman of the House Budget Committee, Congress approved its last balanced budget. Kasich doesn’t have the name recognition of some others in the field, but he’ll be a serious candidate if he runs.

Presidential power rankings. The presidential power rankings are a weekly snapshot of where the race for GOP presidential nominee stands right now. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., upset frontrunners Jeb Bush and Scott Walker by taking the top spot in two recent national polls, but only by a 1- or 2-point margin. 

  1. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
  2. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  3. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  4. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  5. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
  6. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
  7. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  8. Dr. Ben Carson
  9. Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  10. Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Listen to “White House Wednesday” on The World and Everything in It.

Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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