A Mighty Ballot: Patterns of Voting Discussion in Christian Publications During Presidential Elections, 1960-2008

Erica Dollhopf


Building on the literature of religious groups’ political involvement as well as framing literature, this paper seeks to understand the political engagement of Christian organizations in US presidential elections. Presidential election coverage data from 1960-2008 is collected from three major Christian publications; America, Christian Century, and Christianity Today, and analyzed for the discussion of voting behavior and this discussion’s framing activity. Two major trends emerge from the analysis: (1) Christian publications have been consistently engaged in covering presidential elections during the time studied and (2) framing of voting behavior has varied across denominations. Most notably, the data contradicts any notion that Christian organizations have only been involved in politics for a few decades or that Christian organizations are only interested in certain elections.

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