There's an author named Robert Lockwood who works for the diocese of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. He tells the story of the morning after the 1960 presidential election, when John F. Kennedy beat Richard M. Nixon in a very close race. He’s walking up the stairs behind a nun in his NYC middle school. Another nun is coming down the stairs. As they pass each other, a big smile washes over both their faces and one says to the other, "we won.”

The "we" in this case meant Catholics—who voted for JFK in that election at a rate of almost 80 percent (Kennedy was, of course, himself a Catholic and would become the nation's first Catholic President). Ever since, the conventional wisdom has been that Catholics vote largely as a block, and largely on issues deemed important by Church leaders. But is that notion simply a myth?  

University of New Hampshire professor Michele Dillon stopped by the Boston Public Radio studios today to discuss  whether there really is such a thing as the "Catholic vote."