Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures while addressing the South Carolina Tea Party Convention at the Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina January 16, 2016. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY
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Manhattan billionaire Donald Trump, a pro-abortion Republican until recently, appears to have little in common with evangelical Christians.Trump and Cruz are locked in a tight race in Iowa, which on Feb. 1 becomes the first state to vote for party nominees.Evangelical voters typically support candidates that are conservative on social issues, an area of weakness for Trump.Trump, 69, who during his political life has been a Democrat and an independent, is only a recent convert to the "pro-life" anti-abortion position prevalent among evangelical Christians.In recent weeks Trump has stressed his own faith as he stepped up efforts to reach out to this critical Republican voter group.Winning over the evangelical voting bloc could set Trump on a path to become the Republican Party's presidential nominee.Trump is ready to battle Cruz on his own turf, and is not shy about launching personal attacks.The evangelical voter base feels forgotten by national leaders in Washington and is attracted by anti-establishment candidates like Cruz and Trump.
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