FILE - In this Aug. 15, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks at a campaign event in Fairfield, Iowa. Buttigieg is making a faith-based appeal to Democratic voters as he tries to demonstrate his party’s religiosity. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Buttigieg versed in faith-based appeal to Democratic voters

August 23, 2019 - 9:27 pm

KEOKUK, Iowa (AP) — Republicans for a half century have built a loyal following among white evangelical Christians. But presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg (BOO'-tuh-juhj) is trying to demonstrate that there's a strong religiosity among Democrats, too.

President Donald Trump's reelection fortunes are rooted deeply in the unshakable support among religious conservatives.

But Buttigieg's regular references to his own Christian faith offer a counterweight that could be an influential asset in Iowa and beyond as Democrats parry the secular labels that Republicans have tried to apply to them.

Not since Bill Clinton has a Democratic presidential candidate leaned so heavily on religious references in everyday campaign events, though the South Bend, Indiana, mayor says he's wary of coming off as overly pious.