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catholics.jpgThe Associated Press reports on the strenuous Catholic outreach efforts of the Clinton and Obama campaigns in Pennsylvania. Catholics make up 30-percent of the population there and may be the biggest factor in determining whether Clinton wins big and survives to fight another day or whether Obama narrows her commanding lead among white religious voters and vanquishes her candidacy. The AP has fresh reporting on the Catholic outreach operations of both Democratic candidates:

Obama, unwilling to concede the Catholic vote, plans small round-table meetings and “listening sessions” with Catholic voters in Pennsylvania’s urban and rural areas, as well as e-mails and phone banks targeting Catholics.
In a nod to the diverse concerns of Catholic voters, the meetings will focus on Obama’s stands on the economy, jobs and health care, said former Indiana Rep. Tim Roemer, who has been reaching out to fellow Catholics on the campaign’s behalf. One goal is to gauge how issues such as race and the inflammatory remarks of Obama spiritual mentor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, are playing with Catholics, Roemer said.
“We found Catholic voters aren’t really a lot different in terms of many of their concerns than the average voter,” Roemer said.
Clinton backers Kathleen Kennedy Townsend and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., last week wrote a letter to Pennsylvania Catholics emphasizing her plans on health care, mortgage foreclosures and fuel costs.
Clinton spokesman Mark Nevins said Catholics connect with Clinton’s message and Pennsylvanians value her ties to Scranton, where her father was born and raised and she was christened at the Court Street Methodist Church.


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