The Deacon's Bench

Could this be a bellwether for the coming election?

Take a look:

A new poll reveals that Catholic voters, generally the middle ground in the religious political debate, are moving toward the political right, mirroring what pollsters believe is the attitude of the general population during this year’s mid-term election.

New numbers, released by the Public Religion Research Institute Tuesday, show that 49 percent of Catholic voters, both Latino and white, say they are likely to vote Republican.

“White Catholics seem mostly like to throw their support behind the GOP,” said Gregory Smith, senior researcher at the Pew Forum, at a press briefing Wednesday.

And, as researchers believe that Catholics, who make up a quarter of the population, will mirror the rest of the country this election season, a boost in Catholic support may be good news for Republicans in more ways than one. Smith said that Catholics share the same stance on values as does the average American.

“American Catholics considered as a whole tend to look like Americans like a whole,” he said.

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