DES MOINES, Iowa (August 8, 2014) Iowa's Republican Gov. Terry Branstad has spent the past year leading an effort to seize control of his state party, hoping to send a message that the kickoff presidential caucuses will be welcoming to all 2016 GOP hopefuls.
But as conservative prospects flood the state for a major annual gathering of evangelical Christians this weekend, it's not yet clear whether the party makeover will make Iowa more attractive to a mainstream GOP contender.
Evangelicals, tea partiers and libertarians remain strong in Iowa.
The lineup for the conservative Family Leadership Summit in Ames features U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former caucus winners Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee.
Meanwhile, appearances in Iowa by the more pragmatic options have been sparse.