The Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition — a group that started out a couple of decades ago as the Iowa Christian Coalition — will not single out one of 2012 GOP presidential candidates for a public endorsement. Steve Scheffler, the group’s leader, does not plan to issue a public endorsement of his own either.
“Frankly I don’t think Iowans…like to be told who they should vote for when they go to the Caucuses on January 3,” Scheffler says.
There has been speculation that a coalition of Iowa conservative groups might endorse a candidate, to try to rally support around a single, alternative candidate to Mitt Romney. Scheffler says if his own “Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition” had endorsed a candidate, it would have caused “friction” among Christian conservatives.
“It just seems like a diversion from what the real goal is to turning out a lot of conservative voters to the Caucuses and trusting them to make their choices,” Scheffler says.
Republican Congressman Steve King is holding out the possibility he will publicly endorse a candidate before the Caucuses, while Republican Senator Chuck Grassley and Governor Terry Branstad have said they will not. The Iowa Family Leader, another conservative group that has led the charge against gay marriage in Iowa, has ruled out backing candidates Mitt Romney, Herman Cain or Ron Paul, but may issue a public endorsement of Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry or Rick Santorum.