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Must Attend: Panel On Religion & Midterms

Catholic University’s Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies will be sponsoring a panel one week from today. “Religion & the 2010 Elections: The Impact of Religious issues and Religious Voters” will be held Wednesday, October 13, 2010, at the National Press Club. The event begins at noon and is slated to go until 3 p.m.

Mark J. Rozell, professor of public policy at George Mason University, will moderate the panel. He also will speak briefly about the role of religion in US elections as a set up for the presentations by the other panelists. Rozell is the author or editor of numerous books on the intersection of religion and US politics and is a Fellow at the IPRCS.

One of the panelists will be familiar to readers of this blog because he has participated previously in the Q & A segment. At the Press Club, Matthew Green, professor of politics at Catholic University, will provide an update of the "state of play" of the impending midterm elections, including a summary of what top election watchers and prognosticators predict will happen in November. He will also give a review of the "big" variables that are expected to influence the elections. Professor Green is the author of the recent book The Speaker of the House: A Study of Leadership and he is also a fellow at CUA's IPRCS.

Robert Jones, who is the CEO of Public Religion Research Institute, will provide new analysis from PRRI's third biennial American Values Survey, a large, nationally representative public opinion survey of American attitudes on religion, values, and politics. His presentation will focus on the surprising relationships between the Tea Party and the Christian conservative movement in the Republican coalition, and the place of progressive religious voices in the Democratic coalition. He will also focus on shifting opinions on social issues and the impact those shifts are likely to have on the future of American politics.

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Greg Smith, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center's Forum on Religion & Public Life, will be focusing on Catholic voters in the upcoming election. His presentation will consider how the voting intentions of Catholics have shifted over the course of the election year as well as how they compare with two and four years ago. He will also discuss trends in Catholics' party identification and the current issue priorities of Catholic voters.

Catholic University’s new President, John Garvey – featured in today’s Q & A – will be on hand to introduce the panel. This is going to be a “Must-Attend” event.

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