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Palgrave Macmillan

Catholics and US Politics After the 2016 Elections

Understanding the “Swing Vote"

  • Book
  • © 2018


  • Addresses a dearth of literature on the critical role of Catholics in the recent American electoral politics
  • Reviews polling data and press reports for a comprehensive examination of the multitudinous Catholic electorate
  • Provides accessible but in-depth scholarship that both introduces the subject and forges new ground in Catholic electoral politics
  • Includes supplementary material:

Part of the book series: Palgrave Studies in Religion, Politics, and Policy (PSRPP)

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Political Parties and Ideologies

  2. The Bishops and the Holy See

  3. Catholics and U.S. Elections


About this book

This book examines both the evolution of the Catholic vote in the US and the role of Catholic voters in the historic 2016 elections. There is a paucity of academic works on Catholics and US politics—scholars of religion and US politics tend to focus on evangelical Protestant voters—even though Catholics are widely considered the swing vote in national elections. The 2016 presidential election proves that the swing vote component of that group matters in close elections. What Trump gained from his impressive showing among Catholics, he could certainly lose in 2020 (should he seek re-election), just as Hillary Clinton lost the clear advantage among Catholics achieved by Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. The book begins by analyzing the ideological patterns in the politics of U.S. Catholics as well as key alliances, and concludes by studying the political influences of the U.S. Catholic Bishops and the Holy See. 

Editors and Affiliations

  • Université de Toulon, Toulon, France

    Marie Gayte

  • Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France

    Blandine Chelini-Pont

  • George Mason University, Fairfax, USA

    Mark J. Rozell

About the editors

Marie Gayte is Associate Professor of U.S. History at Toulon University, FR
Blandine Chelini-Pont is Professor of Contemporary History at Aix-Marseille University, FR
Mark J. Rozell is Dean of the Schar School of Policy and Government and Ruth D. and John T. Hazel Chair in Public Policy at George Mason University, US

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