May 26th, 2009
08:29 PM ET

Religion on the Supreme Court

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/05/26/art.church.window.jpg]
Bill Schneider
CNN Political Correspondent

If Sonia Sotomayor is confirmed there will be six Catholics on the Supreme Court (Roberts, Kennedy, Scalia, Thomas, Alito and Sotomayor). Two Jews (Ginsburg and Breyer). And one Protestant. (Stevens).

Here's the breakdown in the overall U.S. population:

Protestant 51.3%, Roman Catholic 23.9%, Mormon 1.7%, other Christian 1.6%, Jewish 1.7%, Buddhist 0.7%, Muslim 0.6%, other or unspecified 2.5%, unaffiliated 12.1%, none 4% (2007 est.)

Religion –- at least, religious affiliation - was once a hot issue in Supreme Court nominations. But no longer.
When John Kerry, also Catholic, ran for President in 2004, no one seemed to care except the Catholic Church – and they opposed him because he did not follow church teachings on abortion.

Gender and race? Those do matter. If Republicans appear to be treating Sotomayor unfairly, they could pay a terrible price at the polls.

Filed under: Religion • Sonia Sotomayor • Supreme Court • William Schneider
January 14th, 2009
03:17 PM ET

The economy question

How long will the voters give Barack Obama to show improvement in the economy? Bill Schneider reports.

Filed under: Barack Obama • Economy • William Schneider
November 4th, 2008
11:26 PM ET

We lived to see the day

Bill Shneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

I grew up in the segregated South.
Like millions of Americans, I never thought I'd live to see the day.
We have lived to see the day.

Filed under: 2008 Election • Barack Obama • Raw Politics • William Schneider
August 21st, 2008
08:12 AM ET

Deadlock in the presidential race

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/22/campaign.wrap/art.obamamccain.gi.jpg]Bill Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

After sporting a lead of up to 9 percent weeks ago, Barack Obama now leads John McCain by just one point in CNN’s poll of polls.

Why is the race now so close? For the same reason the Democratic primaries were: McCain is following the Hillary Clinton playbook. Remember her controversial 3 A.M. ad? This month, we had a 3 A.M. moment. Russia invaded Georgia, and John McCain touted his experience and military expertise saying:

“…and in the term of the next President, skillful handling of such a crisis could be the difference between temporary hardship and far-reaching disaster.”

Obama on the other hand emphasized his judgment.

“The next commander-in-chief is going to have to exercise the best possible judgment in getting us through these difficult times.”

Who do the voters think is better qualified to deal with Russia? FULL POST

May 13th, 2008
01:01 PM ET

Hillary Clinton's line-in-the-sand issue

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William Schneider
Senior political analyst

Something Hillary Clinton said at a children’s hospital in Portland, Oregon, last week caught my eye:

"How can anyone run for Democratic nominee for President and not have a universal health care plan? This is a huge, huge difference and one I feel passionately about.’’

With that, she defined her biggest issue difference with Obama. In fact, one of her only issue differences with Obama (unless you count the gas tax holiday, which is silly).

This could be the line-in-the-sand issue Clinton takes to the convention, demanding a platform plank calling for universal health care as a victory for her campaign.

Reagan did that in 1976, demanding that the Republican Party repudiate the Nixon-Ford policy of détente (it did).

Kennedy did that in 1980, demanding that the Democratic Party endorse a big jobs program (it didn’t).

Ford and Carter both went on to lose.

April 23rd, 2008
06:35 PM ET

What the Pennsylvania primary really means

Bill Schneider
CNN Senior Political Analyst

What the Pennsylvania primary really means:

  1. Demography is destiny. Pennsylvania has a lot of seniors, blue-collar workers and Catholics. All strongly for Hillary Clinton. African-Americans, young voters and Independents were loyal to Obama. But there were not as many of them. This is now trench warfare. Each contender is trying to pump up turnout from his or her own base.
  2. Pennsylvania borders Ohio. It voted like Ohio (both went for Clinton by 10 points). Three other Ohio neighbors will vote next month – Indiana, West Virginia and Kentucky. WV and KY look good for Clinton. Indiana may be closer because 20 percent of Indiana voters live in the Chicago (Obama) media market.
  3. North Carolina is nowhere near Ohio. North Carolina demographics look good for Obama – African-Americans, young professionals in the Research Triangle area.
  4. When Pennsylvania primary voters were asked who they thought would win the Democratic nomination, they said Obama. But they voted for Clinton. This is odd. More and more Democratic voters believe Obama will be their candidate. But there’s no Obama bandwagon.
  5. Hillary Clinton is not just the Comeback Kid. She’s the Comeback-of-the-Month Kid. Four months, four comebacks: January – New Hampshire, February – Super Tuesday, March – Ohio and Texas, April – Pennsylvania. Each time, from a near-death experience.
  6. The Democratic Party is in a tough place. Obama can’t close the sale. Clinton can’t overtake him. It’s not that she’s so far behind – she’s not. It’s the Democratic Party rules that make it difficult to pick up delegates. Or to gain the edge in popular votes without counting Florida and Michigan.
  7. We’re seeing evidence of damage to the Democratic Party. Only 53 percent of Clinton voters in Pennsylvania said they would vote for Obama over McCain. 68 percent of Obama voters say they would vote for Clinton over McCain.
  8. There is a growing danger that the loser will argue the process was unfair – that he or she was cheated out of the nomination. That would split the party wide open.