Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
This Friday, on NPR’s “Tell Me More,” I discussed the Catholic vote – and the fact that, for the first time, both major political parties have Catholic vice presidential Catholics – with host Viviana Hurtado and conservative Catholic blogger Gayle Trotter. I explained some of the divisions within the Catholic vote:
I often talk about there being two Catholic votes, and that’s particularly true in this election. Back in 2008, Barack Obama won the Catholic vote, all Catholics, 54% to 45%, but that’s hiding some real complexity. He actually lost the white Catholic vote, 47% to 53%, while overwhelmingly winning the Latino vote, 73% to 27%.
I also pointed out that the tradition of Catholic social teaching is still reflected in American Catholics’ perspectives on the economy and economic inequality. A slim majority of Catholics also support same-sex marriage. I also noted that the U.S. Catholic bishops’ continued struggle against the Obama administration’s contraception mandate is out of step with Catholics overall. White Catholics are more divided.
To listen to the full segment, head to NPR.