mccain17.jpgDespite unprecedented plays for Catholic support by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, a Washington Post/ABC poll this week finds that John McCain has an edge among Catholics over both of his Democratic rivals:

John McCain holds a slight edge over either Democratic nominee among white Catholics in the new poll, besting Hillary Clinton 54 percent to 44 percent, and topping Obama by a similar margin, 53 percent to 42 percent:

God-o-Meter must admit surprise. The poll suggests that the flap over John Hagee’s McCain endorsement is hardly a barrier to Senator picking up hefty Catholic support. More than anything, it’s a testament to his remarkable appeal to swing voters–Catholics have chosen the winner of the popular vote in the last nine presidential elections–even in a strongly anti-GOP climate. This fact, combined with what has been Hillary Clinton’s decisive edge among Catholics over Barack Obama, should have the Obama campaign pretty worried about November. Catholics represent a quarter of the electorate.
The poll is also noteworthy for that it reveals about the low priority that Catholics place on the social issues most emphasized by the church:

….[C]ore concerns of the Vatican are low on the top issues list of Catholic voters – just one percent said abortion is their top issue in the November election, and less than 1 percent cited morals or family values.

Does that mean Catholics’ support for McCain is totally disconnected from their faith, or just their church?


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