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  • Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal

    Friday, September 10, 2004

    Want to understand politics in Ohio or beyond: Try the University of Akron's Bliss Institute 

    This political season and Ohio's prominent profile among swing states has brought heightened attention not only to the state in general but also to the University of Akron's Ray C. Bliss Institute of Applied Politics in particular.

    Bliss Institute Director John C. Green and other institute staff members find themselves in constant demand to answer questions about the state of this political state. Their prominence does not end there.

    Friday morning Green was featured on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. He explained the results from the Fourth National Survey of Religion and Politics, which Green conducted for the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

    Green explained swing voters to NPR's Renee Montagne within the context of the survey. ``A very good example of a swing voters among religious votes would be a centrist Catholic,'' Green said. ``Say someone who takes the teachings of the Catholic Church very seriously and may be pro-life on abortion but at the same time may be in favor of higher welfare spending and very critical of the war on Iraq.''

    Such individuals are conflicted. ``And that is the very definition of a swing voter,'' Green said.

    Whether centrist Catholics or Protestants, no particular issue trumps over all others.

    Bottom line for the election: ``Religion matters,'' Green told Montagne. ``And none of the campaigns can write off the religious vote, because there is the capacity to get votes all across the religious spectrum.''

    This weekend, Ohioblog will discuss just how much religion mattered in the growth and development of Akron and how it continues to matter. In the meantime, Green and the Bliss Institute should take a bow. They have eclipsed, if only for the moment, the College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering as the highest point on the university's public profile.

    - Steve Love

    posted by Ohioblog: A Swing State Journal at 9:32 AM

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