Why the Israel-Hamas war has soared into the top issues for Iowa GOP voters
Domestic issues are American voters’ greatest concern, but the evangelical community’s strong feelings on Israel make it an important factor in the caucuses.
Republican voters are keyed in on prices, government spending and other domestic issues in the 2024 presidential race — but there’s one foreign policy issue that is especially important to them, too.
The Israel-Hamas war could play a big role in how voters approach the Iowa Republican caucuses on Jan. 15. For evangelical Christians who dominate the Republican electorate in the state, the security of Israel is about more than foreign policy: It’s about God’s will.
“Ever since God created the nation of Israel, Satan has tried to wipe her out,” bellowed Mike Augsburger, lead pastor at Soteria Baptist church in West Des Moines, Iowa, at a Sunday morning service in October. “The nation of Israel is critical for bringing Jesus back and putting him on that throne to Jerusalem,” he told congregants, which included GOP presidential hopeful Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and Iowa evangelical leader Bob Vander Plaats.
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