(NC Reporter) Michael Sean Winters—Swing states put American Roman Catholics in a decisive position

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Once again, Catholics will decide who will live in the White House for the next four years. It is not that Catholics constitute a majority of the electorate. Nor is it the case that there is any monolithic "Catholic vote" poised to go one way or the other. But, for a variety of reasons, Catholics will nonetheless break one way or the other in the final weeks of the race, and that will decide whether President Barack Obama or Gov. Mitt Romney wins....

Catholics...mirror the general electorate. About 46 percent are reliably Democratic voters and a like number almost always support the Republican candidate. It is those voters in the center of the Catholic electorate who are genuinely up for grabs, and whom the campaigns can try and reach without fear of driving up an opponent's turnout. In 2004, Catholics broke for George W. Bush, 52 percent to 47 percent, giving him the election. In 2008, they backed Obama over Sen. John McCain, 54 percent to 46 percent. The 2008 election was not as close as the 2004 race, so the Catholic swing vote was less decisive. But all analysts are predicting that 2012 will be a very close race. In a September Pew poll, Obama was leading Romney by 54 percent to 39 percent among Catholics, besting his 2008 showing. Polling also shows that Catholics' concerns regarding the issues track closely with the electorate as a whole. While more evangelicals rate abortion or same-sex marriage as a major concern, Catholics tend to rate the economy and jobs as their principal worries.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in GeneralUS Presidential Election 2012* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

9 Comments
Posted October 30, 2012 at 12:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. Br. Michael wrote:

Catholics will have to decide if they are really liberal secularists or Catholic.

October 30, 2:57 pm | [comment link]
2. Archer_of_the_Forest wrote:

For the life of me, I don’t understand the media’s fixation with the bloc known as “Catholic voters.” Catholics are just as polarized as any other demographic.

October 30, 3:39 pm | [comment link]
3. Teatime2 wrote:

I agree, #2 Archer. Just the other day, I read an article about how the RC voting bloc is a myth. Here it is, if anyone is interested:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/articles/there-no-catholic-vote_511746.html?page=1

But usually some lib or con RC bishops and clergy made the news for admonishing their flocks over the voting choices or withholding/offering Communion to libs. Those sorts of things kept “the Catholic vote” on the news and opinion pages.

Blessedly, there hasn’t been a lot of candidate-specific rhetoric by the RC bishes this year, it seems. Pity, because I was really wondering how they were going to tiptoe around their teaching that Mormons aren’t Christian and their whispers that Mormons are kinda creepy while their guy Ryan is on that ticket!

October 30, 4:28 pm | [comment link]
4. Sarah wrote:

RE: “Pity, because I was really wondering how they were going to tiptoe around their teaching that Mormons aren’t Christian and their whispers that Mormons are kinda creepy while their guy Ryan is on that ticket!”

Why would they need to tiptoe around that teaching?  Mormonism is not a branch of the Christian faith but blessedly, somebody not being a Christian does not mean I can’t vote for him or her, any more than my being a Protestant means that I can’t vote for a Roman Catholic.

As it happens, I won’t be voting for Romney, but why anybody should have to “tiptoe” around the Christian faith and recognize that Mormonism has nothing to do with Christianity, while yet voting for the ticket that they believe to be in keeping with their political ideology, I’ve no idea.

The two are unconnected.  I’d vote for a Scientologist or a Buddhist if he or she were a conservative who valued the Constitution, private property, free enterprise, individual liberty, and limited government—all the while being very clear that Buddhism and/or Scientology are not a part of Christianity.

October 30, 6:46 pm | [comment link]
5. Vatican Watcher wrote:

#1 Br. Michael, that ship sailed back in 1968.

October 30, 8:18 pm | [comment link]
6. Charles52 wrote:

As always when discussing “the Catholic vote”, it helps to distinguish between believing Catholics and people who call themselves Catholic because that’s what they were raised. Heck, its generally useful to know whether the “Catholics” in question even go to Mass weekly.

October 30, 8:58 pm | [comment link]
7. Teatime2 wrote:

Sarah,
Odd. I’m mostly seeing conservative Christian voters (non-RC) embracing Mormonism as being part of the Christian fold because of the Romney ticket. Have you found many vociferously making the non-Christian argument?

That was the point. I generally don’t care which faith candidates follow. I would find it difficult to vote for an avowed atheist, but that’s just me.

Charles52,
True enough, and how many American RCs do you think there would be if y’all purged the rolls of those who were, in word and deed,  opposed to all artificial birth control usage and abortion for all reasons (including cases of rape, incest, and mother’s mortality)?  Numbers-wise, probably not enough for an influential Catholic voting bloc, if such a thing existed.

October 31, 12:14 am | [comment link]
8. Sarah wrote:

RE: “I’m mostly seeing conservative Christian voters (non-RC) embracing Mormonism as being part of the Christian fold because of the Romney ticket. Have you found many vociferously making the non-Christian argument?”

Practically 100% of my friends, acquaintances and blogging buddies have clearly pointed out and asserted that Mormonism is not any part of the Christian fold.  Indeed, we’ve blogged about that in detail, including an extensive witness from one of the bloggers at a local meeting of Mormons in which he informed them of same. 

So . . . you must be hanging out with other types!  ; > )

October 31, 11:53 am | [comment link]
9. Charles52 wrote:

Being an influential voting bloc is not the goal of a Church. Preaching Christ, and Him crucified, is.  Politics matter, of course, in a world where babies are murdered in the womb, men make unjust wars, the poor are left to die, and so on. But Jesus is Lord, and while he uses human hands, the battle is His.

November 1, 12:32 pm | [comment link]
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