With the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucus on Monday, every candidate is vying for the evangelical vote. This week on State of Belief, Interfaith Alliance’s weekly radio show and podcast, Rev. Welton Gaddy sits down with some leading experts on the importance of a candidate’s faith (or lack thereof). Iowa Atheist Activist Justin Scott has been challenging candidates on their positions on secular issues. Neil Levesque will discuss the different issues in New Hampshire and Iowa as observed as head of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. We’ll hear from journalist Sarah Posner about the relationship between candidates and organized religion. Finally, lest we picture a homogenous voting bloc of evangelical Christians in Iowa, activist Justin Scott will join us to challenge the attitude toward non-religious caucusers. Download Icon

The Atheist Voter Initiative: Debunking the religious voter myth
President candidates, specifically those on the right, have fought for the evangelical vote. Ted Cruz even met with hundreds of Iowa pastors and told them to encourage their congregations to vote for him. Justin Scott is the Communication Chair for the Iowa Chapter of the Secular Coalition for America. He has challenged multiple presidential candidates regarding their disdain for the non-secular. Scott will join Welton this week to discuss the Atheist Voter Initiative, and what role candidates must play.

Following the Money: Understanding the New Hampshire Primary
Most of the news is focused on the Iowa caucus. However, with just over a week to go until the New Hampshire primary, it’s important to understand the differences. Neil Levesque is the director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and he will discuss how influential the first few primaries are. We’ll ask this expert if the current campaign season really is as unprecedented as it seems.

There’s More to Polls than Meets the Eye
Chances are, if you have recently watched the news or opened a paper, you were bombarded with poll results. Each organization tries their hand at predicting the horse-race, but the Pew Research Center goes deeper to identify the convictions guiding voting preferences. Jessica Martinez from The Pew Research Center will discuss the new Faith and the 2016 Campaign Survey.

Tale as old as time, Pandering to Christian Leaders
So what about all those religious right endorsements? How important are they in the early weeks of primary voting, and will they matter in the general election? Journalist Sarah Posner, author of the book God’s Profits: Faith, Fraud, and the Republican Crusade for Values Voters, will talk to Welton about the faith aspects of the various presidential campaigns, both right and left.

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