AMES, Iowa — After nine hours and 10 presidential candidates, evangelicals were no closer to settling on a standard-bearer to support in the Iowa caucuses by the end of the Family Leadership Summit on Saturday.
Ted Cruz received a more enthusiastic reception than either Walker, Carson or Huckabee when he sat down with the event’s emcee, Republican messaging guru Frank Luntz — including a rousing standing ovation when he called for investigating, prosecuting and de-funding Planned Parenthood after a video was released this week showing an executive of the organization discussing fetal tissue harvesting.
But Cruz is currently polling in eighth place in Iowa, according to the RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys, behind all three of those rivals.
And it was Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, currently polling 13th in Iowa, who generated the most enthusiasm, receiving three standing ovations to Cruz’s two. He received one for calling for a constitutional amendment to protect religious freedom, but it was a line accusing the New York Times of going soft on President Obama that brought down the house.
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