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The Values Campaign?

The Values Campaign?: The Christian Right and the 2004 Elections

John C. Green
Mark J. Rozell
Clyde Wilcox
Copyright Date: 2006
Pages: 282
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  • Book Info
    The Values Campaign?
    Book Description:

    The Christian Right never ceases to surprise professional observers of American politics. With the Christian coalition in disarray, many expected that the movement would play less of a role in the 2004 elections. But when exit polls reported that "moral values" were the most commonly cited reason for presidential vote choice, pundits immediately proclaimed the importance of the "values vote." Yet the role of the Christian Right, of statewide referenda on same-sex marriage, and of religious mobilization remained the subject of debate. The Values Campaign? The Christian Right and the 2004 Elections reaches well beyond the instant analyses of the post-election period to provide an assessment of the role of the religious right in 2004. The contributors to this volume are among the leading scholars of religion and politics in the United States, and many have contributed for over a decade to ongoing discussions of the role played by the religious right in national elections. The authors consider national mobilization and issues, and also explore the role of the Christian Right in specific states. Their evaluations contend that the "values campaign" was not an aberration but a consistent pattern of national politics, and that moral traditionalism will likely continue to be a significant factor in future elections. A timely study of the 2004 elections, this volume will appeal to scholars and observers of electoral politics, state politics, and religion and politics.

    eISBN: 978-1-58901-474-9
    Subjects: Religion, Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Tables
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. PART ONE: The Christian Right Movement in 2004

    • INTRODUCTION The March Goes On: The Christian Right and the 2004 Values Campaign
      (pp. 3-10)

      The christian right never ceases to surprise professional observers of American politics. Since its inception in the late 1970s, this social movement among conservative Christians has been the subject of numerous obituaries and revivals. The “values campaign” is a good example: After the 2000 election the Christian Right was widely perceived to be moribund—only to be declared a major factor in the 2004 election results. Behind these volatile assessments lies a deeper reality. The Christian Right has been engaged in a long and torturous march from outsider status into the mainstream of regular politics. The “values campaign” reveals that...

    • CHAPTER ONE “The Values Vote”? Moral Issues and the 2004 Elections
      (pp. 11-21)

      In the instant analyses that inevitably follow u.s. elections, many observers of the 2004 contest said that successful mobilization of the religious right was the key to understanding the scope of the GOP triumph. A national exit poll asked voters to identify the most important issues in making up their minds on election day. Among a list of leading issues, the most frequently cited answer was “moral values.” Exit poll data also showed a significant increase in voting among conservative evangelicals in 2004. Furthermore, these voters were even more solidly Republican than they had been in 2000. The presidential nominees...

    • CHAPTER TWO Agents of Value: Christian Right Activists in 2004
      (pp. 22-55)

      Within the intense debate over the meaning of the 2004 election there was a clear point of consensus: The Christian Right was a key player in the campaign. Indeed, the ballots had hardly been counted when a series of liberal pundits blamed Christian conservatives for the outcome (see Marshall 2004)—an accusation that conservative Christian leaders eagerly accepted, gladly taking credit for the Republican victory (Cooperman and Edsall 2004). Although a full explanation of the role of religion in this close election is far more nuanced (Muirhead et al. 2005), the Christian Right was as prominent in 2004 as in...

    • CHAPTER THREE Saving Marriage by Banning Marriage: The Christian Right Finds a New Issue in 2004
      (pp. 56-76)

      ON NOVEMBER 18, 2003, THE MASSACHUSETTS STATE SUPREME Court ruled in Goodridge et al. v. Department of Public Health that “barring an individual from the protections, benefits, and obligations of civil marriage solely because that person would marry a person of the same sex violates the Massachusetts constitution.” The decision essentially legalized same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. In February 2004, the mayor of San Francisco and officials in several other jurisdictions performed same-sex marriages in highly publicized ceremonies that attracted the attention of a sizable portion of the public. Although state courts later halted these marriages outside of Massachusetts, the legal...

  5. PART TWO: The Key States in the 2004 Election

    • CHAPTER FOUR Ohio: The Bible and the Buckeye State
      (pp. 79-97)

      Ohio played a crucial role in the 2004 presidential election, providing George W. Bush with the final handful of electoral votes to return to the White House—secured with a slim 50.8 percent of the popular vote. The Christian Right was unusually active and visible in the Buckeye State campaign, waging a successful effort on behalf of Issue I (an amendment to the Ohio state constitution banning same-sex marriage) and working vigorously for Bush’s reelection. This chapter describes these activities and offers some evidence of their impact on the election results and future politics in the Buckeye State.

      The Christian...

    • CHAPTER FIVE Michigan: A War on the Home Front?
      (pp. 98-127)

      Following the 2004 u.s. presidential election, many analysts concluded that conservative Christians associated with the Christian Right contributed in important ways to President Bush’s reelection (Finley 2004; Riley 2004; Hitt 2004).¹ Exit polls revealed that about one-fifth of American voters selected “moral values” as the most important issue in casting their vote—outpacing even the war in Iraq and the economy.² Among these “moral values” voters, Bush won an overwhelming 80 percent.

      Christian Right leaders were quick to claim credit for the electoral success of Bush and the Republican Party. Roberta Coombs, president of the Christian Coalition of America, asserted...

    • CHAPTER SIX Iowa: In the Heart of Bush Country
      (pp. 128-142)

      All over the country, christian right leaders took credit for the reelection of President George W. Bush in 2004. Evangelical Protestants, the primary constituency of the Christian Right, certainly turned out in higher numbers than in 2000. Movement leaders further point to the importance of “values” to voters as evidence that they have been right all along (Rosin 2005, 117). They say Americans want a return to traditional, religious values, and these voices finally have been heard definitively on Election Day. As with any monocausal explanation of political events, however, the reality of the situation is far more complex. That...

    • CHAPTER SEVEN Minnesota: Battleground Politics in a New Setting
      (pp. 143-157)

      In 2004 Minnesota joined the set of contemporary presidential election battleground states, playing host to a lengthy, intense, and often bitter campaign. The eventual narrow victory of Senator John Kerry over President George W. Bush—keeping Minnesota in the Democratic column for the eighth consecutive presidential race—should not obscure the implications of Minnesota’s shift to partisan parity in the past decade. The Christian Right has played a major role in driving this shift, and its influence in state politics virtually guarantees that Minnesota will remain a polarized battleground in future election cycles for local, state, and national offices.


    • CHAPTER EIGHT Florida: So Close and Yet So Far
      (pp. 158-178)

      Like his namesake in the classic short story, florida’s daniel Webster appears to be on the losing side of a pitched battle with the King of Lawyers. For the contemporary Daniel Webster, a Republican who chairs the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee, Satan wears the guise of the state’s 1885 constitution and the black-robed judiciary that enforces it. Webster’s particular bete noire, Section 3 of Article 1, prohibits using state revenue “directly or indirectly in aid of any church, sect, or religious denomination or in aid of any sectarian institution.” Fearing that such language might prevent churches and other religiously affiliated...

    • CHAPTER NINE Colorado: An Uphill Climb
      (pp. 179-198)

      When colorado’s u.s. senator ben nighthorse campbell (r) announced that he would not seek another term in 2004, two wings of the Republican party rallied behind two different candidates to replace him. On paper, the two candidates had many similarities of great importance to the Christian Right. Both were prolife conservative Catholics who supported the Federal Marriage Amendment, which defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Yet Christian conservatives in Colorado were enthusiastic about one and fearful of the other. Republican Congressman Bob Schaeffer easily attracted local evangelical groups with his record in the U.S. House...

    • CHAPTER TEN Oklahoma: A Battle of Good versus Evil
      (pp. 199-215)

      The 2004 elections were touted as the most important in years. Analysts predicting large voter turnouts were not disappointed when polls closed on November 2. Oklahoma was no exception. With a heated race for the U.S. Senate and a ballot loaded with salient referenda issues, voters in the Sooner State had ample reason to go to the voting booths. Churchgoing voters were reminded from the pulpit to make their voices heard. For many, casting a vote was more than a civic duty—it was a moral imperative.

      Campaigning in Tulsa in August 2004, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Tom Coburn said,...

    • CHAPTER ELEVEN California Ménage à Trois: The Christian Right, the Republican Party, and Arnold Schwarzenegger
      (pp. 216-237)

      According to the quotations that begin this chapter, california is either a trendsetter for the rest of the nation or so idiosyncratic it could never be a harbinger of things to come. Christian Right activists in the state certainly hope the latter is true. The 2004 election in California demonstrated again the limitations that beset a movement whose goals are not shared by a majority of the state’s electorate. Most notably, Proposition 71—an initiative to provide public funding for embryonic stem cell research—passed comfortably in the November election, although the Christian Right was united in its opposition to...

    • CHAPTER TWELVE South Carolina: Integration and Success?
      (pp. 238-258)
      James L. Guth

      For almost four decades south carolina has provided a marvelous case study of the Christian Right’s fortunes within the Republican party. The movement appeared earlier, manifested more variation, and sustained greater influence in the Palmetto State than almost anywhere else in the country. Indeed, the South Carolina GOP often is characterized as “dominated” or at least “strongly influenced” by the Christian Right (Conger and Green 2002). As a result, the Christian Right has established a firmer position within the Republican party in South Carolina and, perhaps, had greater electoral impact than in other states (Smith 1997).

      The contemporary reality is...

  6. Contributors
    (pp. 259-260)
  7. Index
    (pp. 261-273)