With a national grassroots network and a tradition of activism, conservative Christian homeschoolers are among the most enthusiastic foot soldiers a Republican candidate can hope for in Iowa.

“They’re wooing us. It feels really good,” says homeschool mom Andrea Farrier.

Mike Huckabee’s surprise victory in the Iowa caucuses over Mitt Romney four
years ago was fueled by the activism of homeschoolers.

“This go-round, they will definitely be an important voice,” said Bob Vander Plaats, a Christian conservative leader who served as state chairman of Huckabee’s 2008 campaign. “They have such an amazing network and they’re
used to volunteering and used to being active.”

Their suspicion of government, borne of decades of skirmishes with education
authorities, fits with the small-government ideals of the tea-party movement.

“The establishment tried to take away our freedom,” said Michael Farris,
chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. “We became a
political force because we had to protect ourselves.”

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