Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is in trouble, and his problem could be the religious right.

The firebrand with a fairly conservative voting record has recently begun to amass a long record of statements that range from racially insensitive to clearly racist. Now a poll shows him up by only 1 point in his district that should be totally safe. Also recently, he's positioned himself uncomfortably close to white nationalists and anti-Semites, earning a rebuke from his own party.

King's district, taking up the northwestern quadrant of the state and a little more, is not becoming liberal. In fact, King's troubles could be related to its conservatism. Specifically, King could be threatened by his district's pre-Trump Christian and communitarian conservatism, as contrasted to the populist working-class Trump conservatism that King embodies.

Go back to the Iowa caucuses. Trump's worst counties, where he got below 20 percent, were all in King's district: Sioux and Lyon County in the northwest corner of the state, and Winnebago and Hancock County in the top-middle of Iowa.

What made these counties so rough for Trump, and so good for Ted Cruz? Very tight-knit communities built around robust denominations.

It was Dutch Reformed in Sioux and Lyon Counties. It was Norwegian and German Lutherans, Methodists, and Catholics in Winnebago and Hancock Counties.

These conservative counties would go for Trump over Hillary in the 2016 general election, but when I visited Sioux County back during the caucuses, I found strong aversion to him. Some students at Dordt College in Sioux Center literally turned up their noses at Trump's name. One local Reformed pastor told me he knew of only one congregant who was supporting Trump in caucus.

My visit there inspired my forthcoming book on community, church, and Trump.

We'll see when the votes come in, but it's possible that the reluctant Trump voters are sick of Republicans who take up unchristian demonization of other groups.

On that score, here's the ad from the Democrat challenging King.