So far, no proof of a ‘Francis effect’ in 2016
Date: May 7, 2016
Author: Mark Zimmermann
... For his part, Catholic University’s Schneck thinks “there will be a ‘Francis effect’” among American Catholic voters, but he conceded, “It’s difficult to see it right at the moment.”
As the general election approaches, maybe time, and upcoming polls, will tell. ...
Read more about Schneck's expertise.
Catholic vote not as monolithic as it once was, but still important
From: Catholic News Service (via Catholic Philly)
Date: April 28, 2016
Author: Dennis Sadowski
... Stephen F. Schneck, director of the Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies at The Catholic University of America, said perhaps no other group has felt more betrayed than white working class communities in places such as Pennsylvania, Appalachia, the Ozarks and the Deep South.
In an address during a daylong symposium, “Rebuilding Trust,” April 14 at the university, Schneck described the high levels of drug abuse and alcoholism, marriage failures, declining life expectancy and rising crime rates that plague such communities.
“There are many angles from which to consider the correlation between decaying social capital and what’s happening to the quality of life for these populations, but one way to see it is as a crisis of trust,” Schneck told the audience.
“It’s a breakdown of trust with even basic institutions of social life. Their distrust of government is something we all hear about, but it goes far beyond that,” he said.
A week later in an interview, Schneck said working-class whites feel “like they’ve lived up to their end of the bargain, but the other institutions have not,” so they are turning to candidates who seem to offer them a better life.
Matthew Green, assistant professor of political scientist at The Catholic University of America and another symposium speaker, said that could explain the appeal of Republican billionaire Donald Trump and, to a lesser extent, avowed democratic socialist Bernie Sanders — candidates who have positioned themselves as outside the political mainstream.
Green said the high turnout in Republican primaries among people feeling forgotten has helped Trump hold off his two remaining challengers, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. And Schneck cited Sanders’ appeal among young people, who “came of age cynical.”
“If you distrust the institution, but there is a candidate who says ‘I’m going to fix things,’ then that might motivate you to vote,” Green told CNS. ...