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DES MOINES, Iowa — Most of the Republican presidential candidates, with the notable exception of Mitt Romney, set their sights on early-voting Iowa for a discussion on the role of religious faith in public life, along with hot-button social issues such as marriage and abortion.
The setting was a forum Saturday night hosted by a new evangelical group trying to leave its mark on the campaign in a state where influential social conservatives have struggled to rally behind an alternative to Romney. While the former Massachusetts governor has stayed near the top of national polls, some Republican activists have misgivings about his record on cultural issues.