In our four sessions earlier in 2004, our luncheons seem to have laid out pretty well the leading issues of the presidential campaign—namely religion and moral values. Those who took part in the luncheons could feel well prepared for the outcome. We hope your editors were pleased with the competitive advantage you may have gained. Since so many of you requested at least one more lunch meeting, we have scheduled another luncheon.
As our lunches predicted, Bush did carry a majority of weekly churchgoers (61 percent) and of Catholic voters (52 percent). Exit poll data suggest that questions of religion and morality formed the single most important issue in the recent presidential election. Twenty-two percent (22 percent) of voters cast their ballot on the basis of “moral values,” and President Bush carried such voters by a four-to-one margin. This fact has led to much discussion, and much distortion in the weeks following the election. (Charles Krauthammer pointed out that the percentage of voters most concerned about terrorism and Iraq was greater than the percentage concerned about moral values.) In the final analysis, what role did religion and morality play in this election? Was it historically unusual? And what does it portend for future elections?
Renowned political scientist Michael Barone will join AEI’s Karlyn H. Bowman and Michael Novak as moderators of this small, invitation-only luncheon for a dozen select overseas journalists.
Michael Novak, AEI
Michael Barone, U. S. News & World Report
Karlyn Bowman, AEI