The Bible and the Buckeye State
JOHN C. GREEN
OHIO PLAYED A CRUCIAL ROLE IN THE 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECtion, providing George W. Bush with the final handful of electoral votes to return to the White House—secured with a slim 50.8 percent of the popular vote. The Christian Right was unusually active and visible in the Buckeye State campaign, waging a successful effort on behalf of Issue 1 (an amendment to the Ohio state constitution banning same-sex marriage) and working vigorously for Bush's reelection. This chapter describes these activities and offers some evidence of their impact on the election results and future politics in the Buckeye State.
The Christian Right's extensive campaign efforts, especially increased involvement by the evangelical clergy, may have had an impact on Ohio voters. In any event, evangelical Protestants and other observant Christians were important to Issue I'S large margins and even more crucial to Bush's narrow win. In this regard, Issue 1 may have made a small but significant contribution to the President's victory. These campaigns appear to have reinvigorated the Christian Right in Ohio.
A good place to begin is with the special characteristics of the Buckeye State.
Ohio was important in the 2004 presidential election for the same reason it has long mattered in presidential politics: Among the large states, it comes closest to being a microcosm of the nation as a whole.1 Indeed, nearly all