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Conservative Romney alternatives vie for Iowa edge

October 23, 2011 • National News


Republican presidential hopeful, businessman Herman Cain, campaigns outside of Kinnick stadium in Iowa City, Iowa, before Iowa’s NCAA college football game against Indiana, Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011. About a half-dozen Republican candidates and about 1,000 evangelical activists plan to attend Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition in Des Moines Saturday night as the Republican presidential campaign continues its search for a more conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. (AP Photo/Brian Ray)

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — Evangelical activists, Iowa’s most potent conservative voting bloc, are sharply divided barely 10 weeks away from the state’s leadoff presidential caucuses, and are weighing a number of GOP hopefuls competing hard to emerge as the more conservative alternative to early front-runner Mitt Romney.

A half-dozen GOP contenders sought Saturday to sharpen their Christian conservative credentials, and at times allay doubts, in an effort to gain any edge with this influential group before the state’s Jan. 3 caucuses.

Businessman Herman Cain sought to clarify his position on abortion to about 1,000 of Iowa’s most devout social conservatives, after suggesting this week the issue was a matter of choice.

“I believe abortion should be clearly stated as illegal across this country,” Cain said during the Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition’s presidential forum.

Cain has risen sharply in the polls recently, stirring the interest of tea party activists and Login to read more

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