Senior Fellow in Religion and American Politics, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
09/30/2008 - A recently published national survey finds remarkable stability in the candidate preferences of major religious groups when compared with those at a similar stage in the 2004 campaign. The survey was conducted in the summer of 2008 by the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron and headed by John Green, a Pew Forum senior fellow and director of the Bliss Institute. The survey also shows, however, that issue priorities among these same groups have changed since 2004; according to the survey, the economy has taken on greater importance and social issues such as abortion and gay marriage are considered less important. Green answers questions about the survey findings and what they might mean for the fall campaign.
John Green, Director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron and Senior Fellow in Religion and American Politics, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Mark O'Keefe, Associate Director, Web Editorial, Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life
Q & A:
Comparing the views of religious voters during the 2008 presidential campaign with views during the 2004 campaign, the Bliss Institute study finds what you call "remarkable stability" in candidate preferences. Is this surprising?
Given the enormous efforts of Barack Obama and other Democratic Party leaders who approached religious voters, it seemed likely to me that there would be at least some erosion of support for John McCain and for the Republican Party among evangelicals and religious conservatives. But overall there was much less change in the faith-based vote from 2004 than I had anticipated.
Read the complete Q & A Candidate Preferences of Religious Voters Similar to 2004, But Economy a Higher Priority on the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life Web site.