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Many Iowa evangelicals throw their support behind Donald Trump

River to River, hosted by Ben Kieffer

Ahead of the 2016 primaries, Iowa evangelicals would not support Donald Trump in his run for president due to issues they had with his character — going as far as calling him "morally loathsome" and "wicked." As the former president campaigns for 2024, many in this powerful GOP base have flipped their 2016 views.

In this edition of River to River, host Ben Kieffer speaks with Associated Press political reporter Tom Beaumont about how Trump captured this base. Kieffer also speaks with Iowa Capital Dispatch editor Kathie Obradovich about an Iowa Supreme Court decision she called an "open-records victory" and Bailing Out Benji research analyst Alexis Bell about their call for criminal charges against one of Iowa's largest puppy mills.

Also this hour, Kieffer gets a legislative update from Des Moines Register reporter Stephen Gruber-Miller, including a recent decision by Senate leaders to not answer questions during floor debate. Former Republican state senator and representative, Doug Shull, joins to comment on this major shift.


  • Stephen Gruber-Miller, statehouse reporter, Des Moines Register
  • Doug Shull, former Iowa state senator and state representative
  • Kathie Obradovich, editor-in-chief, Iowa Capital Dispatch
  • Alexis Bell, research analyst, Bailing Out Benji
  • Tom Beaumont, national political reporter, Associated Press
  • Tony Dehner, Studio One host, Iowa Public Radio
Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Dani Gehr is a producer for River to River and Talk of Iowa. Dani came to Iowa from her hometown in the northwest suburbs of Chicago to attend Iowa State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in journalism, international studies and French. Before coming to IPR, Dani covered local government in Story County for the Ames Tribune and Des Moines Register.