Growing Evangelical Clout Shaping 2012 Debate

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"Anybody who calls a truce when the abortion clinics are running 24/7 is not a true pro-lifer," said Hurley. "That's giving up the battle."

Steve Roberts, a former member of the Republican National Committee before he was ousted by a religious conservative activist, said those who want social issues to go away are dreaming.

"It's not going to happen in Iowa," said Roberts, who said social and religious conservatives virtually run the show in Iowa. As for moderates, he said: "You can find them occasionally in a large phone booth."

Social and religious conservatives showed their might earlier this month, when 1,500 of them gathered in a suburban Des Moines church to hear a pitch from five potential presidential candidates — and remind them not to stray too far from their religious base.

"If you turn your backs on the pro-family, pro-life constituency you will be consigned to permanent minority status," veteran religious activist Ralph Reed told the cheering throng at the gathering.

Starting this week, there's certain to be even more focus on such issues.

Home school advocates, largely evangelicals, plan a mass rally at the Statehouse on Wednesday, and at least three potential presidential candidates are to attend. And over the weekend, U.S. Rep. Steve King is hosting a forum where five potential candidates are to appear.

Kim Pearson, who won her seat in the Iowa House with opposition to abortion as a key issue, said she expects to hear that same message from White House hopefuls. Said Pearson: "They are going to have to address the social issues" — whether they like it or not.

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