Religion's Big and Unprecedented Role in '08 Politics

Publication: The Washington Post

Author: Kevin Eckstrom

12/27/2008 - Barack Obama chose Joe Biden, and John McCain turned to Sarah Palin, but in the end the most sought-after running mate in the 2008 campaign never appeared on a single ballot.

God, it seems, couldn't be entirely wooed by either party.

The unprecedented and extraordinary prominence of religion in the 2008 election was easily the year's top religion story. Both parties battled hard for religious voters, and both were forced to distance themselves from outspoken clergy whose fiery rhetoric threatened to become a political liability.

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"It's very tempting but a bit dangerous to over-interpret what happened," said Luis Lugo, executive director of the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life. "Clearly Obama improved across all religious groups, but the economy just overwhelmed every other issue."

Read the full article Religion's Big and Unprecedented Role in '08 Politics on the Washington Post's Web site.

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