GOP Hopefuls Woo Homeschoolers

Support of seasoned activists could make the difference in Iowa
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 4, 2011 4:00 AM CDT
Homeschoolers show their support for Mike Huckabee at a campaign rally in early 2008.   (AP Photo/Lisa Billings)

(Newser) – People who teach their children at home helped Mike Huckabee beat Mitt Romney in 2008's Iowa caucuses, and there's plenty of competition for the help of homeschoolers this time around, Reuters finds. In Iowa, homeschoolers are mainly Christian conservatives, and the group can provide the right candidate with a small army of determined volunteers with a ready-made network and a strong tradition of activism.

Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum boast that they homeschooled their own children, Ron Paul's campaign website declares that he is a " homeschooling champion," and Rick Perry brought in a "homeschool week" in Texas. No single candidate has yet emerged as the homeschool choice—but it definitely won't be Romney. Many homeschoolers, citing his moderate record, say they won't vote for him even if he becomes the GOP nominee. "Why would I want to vote for somebody who might be the antithesis of everything I believe as a Christian, just because he's not as bad as the other guy?" asks the leader of a state group of religious homeschoolers.

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