Keeping up on the Catholic vote

A man votes in the presidential primary at Christ the King Parish in Silver Spring, Md., Feb. 12. (CNS/Paul Haring)How the Catholic vote plays out both in the Democratic primaries and this fall’s general election is something lots of news organizations (including us!) are following. And on that topic, our client America magazine had a great post this week on its blog calling Catholics “quintessential swing voters, pulled towards the Democrats on economic issues, pulled towards the GOP on social issues.”

What made this post particularly attractive to news and politics junkies like me were the links in it to an article on the Catholic vote at Politico.com and to, as the America blogger says, “a fascinating look at how the media and a campaign interact.” (If you’ve not heard of Politico, it’s a relatively new Web site and newspaper here in D.C. that has quickly become a major player in election coverage because of the strength of its reporting staff.)

It’s this kind of reporting by a respected magazine like America that proves how much the Internet has changed the media in the past dozen years. How long would an analysis like this have had to wait until it appeared in the print edition? How much more difficult would it have been to find these Politico articles — especially its “How the sausage gets made” piece on interaction between the media and the Obama campaign — without the Internet?

I know I’m stating the obvious, but finding this post on America’s blog (courtesy of my Google Reader) and the links that are in it was one of those “ah ha!” moments for me.

Meanwhile, remember 2004? We tracked the Catholic vote in that election too, an election which featured a Catholic nominee on the Democratic ticket. This fall’s election won’t have that angle (though there were numerous Catholics vying for attention when the election season began). But following the Catholic vote — both next month in Pennsylvania and in November — will still be a major issue to cover.

PHOTO: A man votes in the presidential primary at Christ the King Parish in Silver Spring, Md., Feb. 12. (CNS/Paul Haring)

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