Pastors may back Cruz

Senator+Ted+Cruz+speaks+to+reporters+during+a+press+conference+at+the+2015+Ag+Summit+on+Saturday%2C+March+7%2C+2015.+The+Ag+Summit+will+allow+elected+officials+and+public+policy+leaders+to+have+a+discussion+with+the+public+on+issues+relating+to+Iowa+and+American+economy+with+a+highlight+on+agriculture.+%28The+Daily+Iowan%2FLexi+Brunk%29
Back to Article
Back to Article

Pastors may back Cruz

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to reporters during a press conference at the 2015 Ag Summit on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The Ag Summit will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a discussion with the public on issues relating to Iowa and American economy with a highlight on agriculture. (The Daily Iowan/Lexi Brunk)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to reporters during a press conference at the 2015 Ag Summit on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The Ag Summit will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a discussion with the public on issues relating to Iowa and American economy with a highlight on agriculture. (The Daily Iowan/Lexi Brunk)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to reporters during a press conference at the 2015 Ag Summit on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The Ag Summit will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a discussion with the public on issues relating to Iowa and American economy with a highlight on agriculture. (The Daily Iowan/Lexi Brunk)

Senator Ted Cruz speaks to reporters during a press conference at the 2015 Ag Summit on Saturday, March 7, 2015. The Ag Summit will allow elected officials and public policy leaders to have a discussion with the public on issues relating to Iowa and American economy with a highlight on agriculture. (The Daily Iowan/Lexi Brunk)

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






A plan to increase support for Sen. Ted Cruz in the 2016 presidential election includes appointing pastors in each of Iowa’s counties to endorse the Texas senator.

By Aaron Walker
[email protected]

God has anointed Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, as the future president of the United States of America — at least according to Pastor Joseph Brown of Washington, Iowa.

“God has led me to endorse and campaign for Sen. Ted Cruz,” Brown said in a press release announcing the plan. “I believe he is who God would love to use to lead this great country.”

The idea is simple, appoint one pastor to promote Cruz’s campaign in each of Iowa’s 99 counties.

The plan is the first of its kind as Cruz increases efforts to garner support from Iowa’s evangelical voters, who represent nearly 60 percent of the Republican voting population. 

“He’s taking the approach of bolstering his image as a born-again believer and making it known he’s seeking the evangelical vote,” said Cara Burnidge, an assistant professor of religion and politics at the University of Northern Iowa. “He’s not the only candidate doing that. But it is a unique strategy to him, and I will say right now, he needs it.”

Each year, numerous candidates bid for support from the Christian right, and this election season is no different. Aside from Cruz, evangelical candidates such as Ben Carson and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal are competing with previous caucus-winning evangelicals Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.

And still, Donald Trump, a Presbyterian candidate, is leading in the latest Iowa Poll, according to the Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll. Trump is currently leading in the state with 23 percent. Only 8 percent of likely caucus-goers said Cruz would be their first choice for president.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points; 400 Republican caucus-goers were surveyed over Aug. 23-26.

Burnidge said it is unclear whether or not Cruz’s decision to sway voters through their congregations will lead to increased success as the Feb. 1 caucus date approaches.

“Pastors can have an apt role to play in local or community politics, but it depends, from community to community, what authority they might have in caucuses,” Burnidge said. “But I don’t think it will be pastors alone that will sway voters.”

Several people have raised the point a pastor’s work on behalf of a politician enters some gray areas legally.

Lyombe Eko, a professor of media law at Texas Tech University, said whether they violate federal law depends on where Cruz’s pastoral partners profess their admiration for the candidate.

The Internal Revenue Code prohibits all tax-exempt organizations from directly or indirectly participating in political campaigns, Eko said. Churches are included in that law.

So law-abiding pastors would need to avoid proclamation from the pulpit.

“If these pastors use their churches to promote Cruz or otherwise speak on his behalf from their pulpits, they would be endangering the tax-exempt status of their churches,” Eko said. “However, if they promote him as individuals, not representatives of their congregations, they are covered by the First Amendment.”

Facebook Comments