A Matter of Faith? Religion in the 2004 Election

University of Notre Dame, December 2-3, 2005

How critical was religion in the 2004 presidential election? Opinions vary. John Kerry’s Catholicism, George W. Bush’s evangelicalism, and Howard Dean’s secularism were all themes in the campaign, each one underscoring a different intersection of religion and politics in the contemporary United States. But, in the end, how much did religion actually affect the ballots voter cast?

This conference featured the nation’s leading scholars of religion and politics discussing whether religion shaped the 2004 election and, if so, how its influence was felt. As the nation’s premier Catholic university, and therefore one of the nation’s most prominent faith-based institutions of higher learning, the University of Notre Dame is uniquely situated to host this scholarly conversation about the role of religion in American politics. This conference was one of a series of conferences offered during 2005 and 2006 as part of a generous grant from the Annenberg Foundation.

Conference Schedule

Friday, December 2nd, 8:30am-10:00am

Panel I

David Campbell, University of Notre Dame 
Introductory Remarks, Welcome

John Green University of Akron 
How the Faithful Voted: Religious Communities and the Presidential Vote in 2004

Scott Keeter, Pew Center for People and the Press
Evangelicals and Moral Values in the Election of 2004


Panel II

Geoffrey C. Layman, University of Maryland, and Laura S. Hussey, University of Maryland
George W. Bush and the Evangelicals: Religious Commitment and Partisan Change Among Evangelical Protestants, 1960-2004

Matthew Wilson, Southern Methodist University
The Changing Catholic Voter: Comparing Responses to John Kennedy in 1960 and John Kerry in 2004

Lyman (Bud) Kellstedt, Wheaton College (emeritus), and Corwin Smidt, Calvin College
The Religious Left in the 2004 Election: A Mighty Wind or a Gentle Breeze?




Public Roundtable


Panel III

Sunshine Hillygus, Harvard University
Moral Issues in the 2004 Presidential Election

Quin Monson, Brigham Young University, and Jon Baxter Oliohant, Brigham Young University
The Instrumental Use of Religion to Mobilize Religious Conservatives in the 2004 Election

Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona, and Jan Norrander, University of Minnesota
Stem Cell Research and the 2004 Election


Panel IV

David Leal, University of Texas at Austin
Latinos, Religion, and the 2004 Presidential Election

Eric McDaniel, University of Texas at Austin
The Black Church in the 2004 Election

David Leege, University of Notre Dame (emeritus)
The Lessons from 2004




John Green, University of Akron

Scott Keeter, Pew Center

Geoff Layman and Laura Hussey, University of Maryland

Matthew Wilson, Southern Methodist University

Sunshine Hillygus, Harvard University

Barbara Norrander, University of Arizona

David Leal, University of Texas

Quin Monson, Brigham Young University

Eric McDanel, University of Texas

Jim Guth, Furman University

Lyman (Bud) Kellstedt, Wheaton College (emeritus)

Corwin Smidt, Calvin College

David Leege, University of Notre Dame (emeritus)