The 1988 elections abruptly brought the importance of religion in American politics into sharp focus. Two ministers, Pat Robertson and Jesse Jackson, sought their party's presidential nominations by mobilizing key religious constituencies. In addition, a host of other religious groups, from the Catholic bishops to the Jewish community, sought to influence the election outcome. More than ever, religion was a critical factor in the ballots cast by millions of Americans. As the twentieth century draws to a close, it is clear that religion will continue to be a powerful factor in electoral politics. This volume investigates the many ways religion influenced electoral politics in 1988, tracing the links between elites, activists, and voters in the major religious traditions. Special attention is paid to the leaders of Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish organizations; to important sets of activists, such as ministers, party leaders, and campaign contributors; and to the behavior of key voting blocs, including white evangelical and mainline Protestants, black Protestants, Catholics, and Jews.
Preface -- Religion in the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- Harvest of Discontent: Religion and Populism in the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- Religious Leaders and the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- From Candidates to Agenda Setters: Protestant Leaders and the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- Divided, Distracted, and Disengaged: Catholic Leaders and the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- Jewish Community Leaders and the 1988 Presidential Campaign -- Religion and Political Activists in the 1988 Campaign -- Pulpits and Politics: The Protestant Clergy in the 1988 Presidential Election -- Preachers and Politics: Jesse Jackson, Pat Robertson, and the 1988 Presidential Nomination Campaign in South Carolina -- Apostles and Apostates? Religion and Politics Among Party Activists -- Religion and the Electorate in 1988 -- Religious Tradition, Denomination, and Commitment: White Protestants and the 1988 Election -- Religion and Electoral Politics Among Black Americans in 1988 -- Catholic Voting Behavior in 1988: A Critical Swing Vote -- Jews and the 1988 Election: More of the Same?1 -- Religion and the Future of American Politics -- The Bible and the Ballot Box: The Shape of Things to Come