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

Author:Coe, Kevin
Position:Book review
 
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The Values Campaign? The Christian Right and the 2004 Elections. Edited by John C. Green, Mark J. Rozell, & Clyde Wilcox. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2006. 273pp. $44.95 cloth, $26.95 paper.

The Values Campaign is the fifth in a series of books that have chronicled the Christian Right's influence in state-level politics for the past two decades. This most recent volume is perhaps the most important of the series because it focuses on the 2004 elections--a context in which many observers believed that religious impulses and "moral values" were motivating voters with new force. The twelve essays that make up this book go a long way toward cutting through the speculation and clarifying the role religion played in solidifying Republican power.

The bulk of the book consists of nine case studies, each focused on a different state: Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Minnesota, Florida, Colorado, Oklahoma, California, and South Carolina. Each of these case studies highlights issues particular to the state being examined, analyzing a wealth of survey data to illuminate voting patterns among specific religious groups. The breadth of issues covered in these case studies is impressive, ranging from the "small but significant" way that Ohio's marriage amendment contributed to the reelection of President Bush, to the role the Christian Right played in turning Iowa from blue to red in presidential voting but not all the way down the ballot, to the unwillingness of the Christian Right in Colorado to mobilize behind moderate GOP candidate Pete Coors in his failed bid for a U.S. Senate seat.

These nine essays are joined by three additional studies that focus on the Christian Right at the national level. The presence of these broader studies is a departure from the previous volumes in the series, but one that turns out to be quite welcome: the essays help to identify the key themes that rum throughout the state-level case studies...

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