The Candidates' Faith

Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life offers in-depth religious biographies on its Web site that tell the candidates' faith stories and explain their views of how religion should impact public life.

John McCain was a prisoner of war in North Vietnam when a captor showed him unexpected mercy, affirming his faith.

Sarah Palin was baptized Roman Catholic, belonged to a pentecostal church for most of her adult life and now attends several nondenominational, evangelical churches.

Barack Obama was a community organizer in Chicago when a black church helped him embrace faith despite his serious doubts.

Joe Biden was born to Irish-Catholic parents and briefly considered becoming a priest when he was a young student.

For updated coverage, news and analysis, visit the forum's Religion & Politics '08 section.

Spotlight on Mental Health

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Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

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How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

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What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

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Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.