When Republican presidential candidate John McCain announced his choice of running mate on August 29, 2008, many of the national political reporters covering the story did not even know how to pronounce Sarah Palin’s last name. Within minutes, the quest began to define this newcomer to the national political scene. One important dimension of Palin’s identity involved her religious beliefs. In fact, many observers suspected that a major reason McCain selected Palin was to appease Christian conservatives who had not yet warmed to him. Others suggested that McCain was attempting to appeal to female voters who had supported Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primaries and wanted to see a women elected to office. The selection of this woman who emphasized her religious faith and the ensuing controversy over her candidacy highlight the important role sex and religion played in the 2008 presidential campaign and election, both in terms of voters and the candidates themselves.1