There is some solace in the fact that Iowa usually gets it wrong. But Ted Cruz is one frightening guy-- razor smart , nihilistic, and God-obsessed, and supported by the majority of Evangelicals in Iowa including men of sizable influence like Steve King and Bob Vander Plaats.
Iowa Republican politics makes it clear that their Evangelical Christians hate gay people, they hate women's rights, they hate science, and they hate atheists. They hate me. And they are scary, scary people, because they are organized, they are concentrated, and they punch above their weight.
Here's one theory:
When you’re told by your pastor that all the people outside of your ideological tribe are utterly wicked and deserving of eternal torture, that’s how it becomes a sin to compromise with your opponents politically and work together for the common good. Because the point is not to find common ground with your opponents. It would be “unloving” to condone anything about their ideology since they’re going to hell. They need to be utterly defeated and brought into submission so that they can be saved.
Everything about secular liberalism must be utterly antithetical to the Christian gospel and profoundly offensive to God. It has to be, or else secular liberals wouldn’t be worthy of damnation. So everything about liberalism is put into binary opposition with “God’s truth.” To believe in climate change is to believe that God is not in control of the environment. To believe that the government should provide for the poor is an emulation of atheist communism and a usurpation of God’s sovereignty. To promote “political correctness” is to silence the courageous proclamation of “Biblical truth."Of course, if a more representative state like, oh, I don't know, CALIFORNIA? was able to vote early in the primary season, things would look different. 1 out of 12 Americans lives in California, which is not a majority-white state. But instead, we give IA and NH, small states unrepresentative of the US at large, the first bite at the apple and the winner is....
We'll see what happens next.