Politics & Government

Campaign Snapshots

4 debates scheduled before Election Day

John McCain and Barack Obama have agreed to hold three presidential debates and one vice presidential debate in the fall, the campaigns said Thursday.

Here is a look at the debates:

McCain and Obama will answer questions from Jim Lehrer on Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi. It will focus on foreign policy and national security.

The two meet for a town hall debate on Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn. Tom Brokaw will call on audience members and pose questions submitted online.

Bob Schieffer moderates the third debate on Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in New York. It will focus on domestic and economic policy.

Vice presidential contenders are to meet Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis.

Associated Press

Study: More growing uneasy with churches in politics

Social conservatives are growing more wary of church involvement in politics, joining moderates and liberals in their unease about blurring the lines between pulpit and ballot box, a new study found.

Fifty percent of conservatives think churches and other places of worship should stay out of social and political matters, up from 30 percent four years ago, according to a survey released Thursday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press.

That shift in conservative thought has brought the country to a tipping point on the question: a slim majority of Americans – 52 percent – now think churches should keep out of politics. That's an 8 per centage point increase over 2004 and the first time a majority of Americans has held that opinion since Pew officials started asking the question 12years ago.

Associated Press

Elections board lets McCain forgo federal matching funds

The Federal Election Commission voted unanimously Thursday to belatedly approve Republican candidate John McCain's withdrawal from public financing for the primaries. The decision means McCain is not bound by the spending limits that restrict candidates who do accept primary season matching funds. Had the commission rejected McCain's withdrawal from the system, any money he spent this year in excess of those spending limits would have been in violation of the law and could have been subject to a fine.

Associated Press