5. Sexism among some conservatives
Rival presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Iowa coalitions director, Jamie Johnson, sent out an email saying that children’s lives would be harmed if the nation had a female president. He wrote it in June, but it surfaced on the campaign trail in the fall.
“The question then comes, ‘Is it God’s highest desire, that is, his biblically expressed will, … to have a woman rule the institutions of the family, the church, and the state?’ ” Johnson’s email said.
Johnson said the email was meant to be a private message to a friend, that he sent it from his personal email account, not his campaign account, and that he hadn’t intended it to be read by anyone else.
Did Iowa’s Christian conservatives hamper Bachmann’s campaign? Such accusations are counterbalanced by Iowans’ willingness to give her the straw poll crown, the first woman in history to claim that throne.
But in the final weeks of the campaign, as Bachmann’s poll numbers hovered in single digits, her national aides and evangelical organization team privately complained that sexism coursed through Iowa’s religious conservative community, even as the aides publicly rebuffed questions on the topic.