Prayers in the Precincts

The Christian Right in the 1998 Elections

John C. Green, Mark J. Rozell, and Clyde Wilcox, Editors

"Combining rich description with sophisticated analysis, Prayers in the Precincts continues the authors' tradition of close-in observation of the Christian Right during each election cycle. Indispensable."
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In the wake of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, the Christian Right expected major victories in the 1998 elections. Instead, many of its allies lost close contests, and the movement was seen as a liability in some high-profile campaigns. In the only in-depth study of the Christian Right's role in these races, leading scholars analyze the role of the movement in fourteen key states, from Maine to California, and address speculations that the movement is fading from the American political scene.

The book focuses on elections on the state and local levels, where the Christian Right is most influential, and it describes the movement's niche in some detail. Although each campaign described in the book had its unique characteristics, the editors have drawn some broad conclusions about the 1998 elections. While the movement was weak in the areas of candidate recruitment and fundraising, they say, the outcome may have also been related to external factors including a broader turnout of typically Democratic constituencies and the country's boredom with the scandal that conservatives had made the centerpiece of their campaign. Despite the setbacks of 1998, the contributors argue, the Christian Right continues to have an enormous influence on the political dialogue of the country.

Written from an unbiased, nonpartisan perspective, this volume sheds light on a topic that is too frequently mired in controversy.

Table of Contents

1. The Christian Right and the 1998 Elections: An Overview
John C. Green

2. South Carolina: Even in Zion the Heathen Rage
James L. Guth

3. The Christian Right in God's Country: Texas Politics
James Lamare, J.L. Polinard, and Robert D. Wrinkle

4. Georgia: The Christian Right Meets Its Match
Charles S. Bullock III and Mark C. Smith

5. Virginia: Prophet in Waiting?
Mark J. Rozell and Clyde Wilcox

6. The Christian Right and the Republican Party in California: Necessarily Yoked
J. Christopher Soper and Joel Fetzer

7. Answered Prayers and Mixed Blessings: The Christian Right in Florida
Kenneth D. Wald, Maureen Tartglione, and Richard K. Scher

8. Alabama 1998: Luck Runs Out for GOP and Christian Right as Democrats Gamble on the Lottery
Harold W. Stanley and Christian Grose

9. Michigan 1998: The "Right Stuff"
James M. Penning and Corwin E. Smidt

10. Washington: Christian Right Setbacks Abound
Andrew Appleton and Michael Buckley

11. Minnesota 1998: Christian Conservatives and the Body Politic
Christopher P. Gilbert and David A.M. Peterson

12. After the Flood: The Kansas Christian Right in Retreat
Allan J. Cigler and Burdett A. Loomis

13. Illinois: Moral Politics in a Materialist Political Culture
Ted G. Jelen

14. New York, New York: Start Spreadin' the News
Robert J. Spitzer

15. Maine: Which Way Should Life Be?
Matthew C. Moen and Kenneth T. Palmer

16. Conclusion: The Christian Right in Campaign '98
Clyde Wilcox and Mark J. Rozell



"Combining rich description with sophisticated analysis, Prayers in the Precincts continues the authors' tradition of close-in observation of the Christian Right during each election cycle. Indispensable."—Clarke E. Cochran, professor of political science, Texas Tech University

"Beyond sensational headlines and too-easy conclusions, the scholars gathered here carefully assess the impact of the Christian Right on the 1998 elections and provide educated analyses about the movement's future prospects. In addition, the editors' introduction and conclusion provide a number of keen observations about religiously-based movements, and their strengths and weaknesses. Rich in both empirical findings and analytic insight."—Rhys H. Williams, professor of sociology, Southern Illinois University

"Essential reading for anyone interested in tracking the evolving fortunes of the Christian Right in American politics."—Mark Silk, director, Center for the Study of Religion in Public Life, Trinity College


Andrew Appleton Michael Buckley Charles S. Bullock, III Allan J. Cigler Joel Fetzer Christopher P. Gilbert John C. Green Christian Grose James L. Guth Ted G. Jelen James Lamare Burdett A. Loomis Matthew C. Moen Kenneth T. Palmer James M. Penning David A. M. Peterson J. L. Polinard Mark J. Rozell Richard K. Scher Corwin E. Smidt Mark C. Smith J. Christopher Soper Robert J. Spitzer Harold W. Stanley Maureen Tartaglione Kenneth D. Wald Clyde Wilcox Robert D. Wrinkle

Supplemental Materials


About the Author

John C. Green is professor of political science and director of the Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics at the University of Akron.

Mark J. Rozell is associate professor of politics at the Catholic University of America.

Clyde Wilcox is professor of government at Georgetown University.

The three of them have previously collaborated on God at the Grass Roots: The Christian Right in the 1994 Elections and God at the Grass Roots, 1996: The Christian Right in the American Elections (Rowman and Littlefield, 1995 and 1997).

416 pp., 6 x 9

Apr 2000

416 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-0-87840-775-0
Apr 2000

416 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-58901-393-3
Apr 2000

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