The Battle for the Catholic Voter

Catholic Voters.jpgBarack Obama is in a virtual tie with John McCain for the Catholic vote, the “Holy Grail” of the campaign, as Amy Sullivan puts it in her analysis of TIME’s latest poll which shows 45 percent of the 47 million Catholic voters–concentrated in key swing states, as TIME’s map shows–versus 44 percent for Obama. This is an unexpectedly good showing for Obama. But Sullivan leads with yet another story about Doug Kmiec, the Reaganite Roman Catholic turned Obamacon. How much mileage can we get out of the “Kmiec Catholic,” as we must now dub him, as if he were a new discovery like Australopithecus africanus, an elusive missing link. Or is he actually Piltdown Man, an elaborate hoax?
Here is Sullivan:


A new Time poll of Catholic voters reveals that Kmiec is part of a broader pattern. Although Obama was thought to have a “Catholic problem” during the Democratic primaries, in which Hillary Clinton won a majority of Catholic votes, he has pulled even with John McCain among that constituency–Obama now polls 44% to his GOP opponent’s 45%.
There are 47 million Catholic voters, and while they are too numerous and varied to speak of as a monolithic Catholic bloc, they have long been a kind of holy grail for presidential candidates. The winner of eight out of the past nine elections has captured a majority of Catholic votes (they voted for Al Gore in 2000), and there are large Catholic concentrations in key states like Florida, Ohio and New Mexico.
The trick is figuring out what Catholics want…

PS: Check out the nifty graphics.

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Joe Texas

posted July 4, 2008 at 12:37 pm

On the 4th of July I am reminded of the Declaration of Independence when it states …”unalienable rites for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”… To me this means no one has the right to purposely take the “life” of a child, especially the mother or the State. How can any Christain, especially a Catholic, vote for anyone who supports abortion? I admire Obama’s charisma and social outreach, but not his stance on abortion. I believe it to be a mortal sin to vote for any “politician” who promotes the destruction of the fetus. I also believe this is the stance of the Catholic Church.

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Ed Gleason

posted July 4, 2008 at 3:53 pm

As a ‘seamless garment’Christian and a grandparent who helped facilitate a full term birth of an out=of-wedlock grand daughter [if I had the computer skill I would include a pic of the eighteen yesr old beauty ]
I haven’t trusted pro life pols for years. Both Repub and Dem pols think they have to pander to their constituents so who to believe? Did you believe Reagan and BushI on abortion? Since the law OKs abortion will McCain overturn the law with Supreme Ct.appointments? Evangelicals don’t seem to think he will. Obama will support most of other Catholic social teahings better than McCain. And I do know Kremic and I will not commit a ‘moral sin’ voting for Obama.

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posted July 5, 2008 at 8:18 am

I suppose we should be thankful for the choice, but actually I am far from a fan of either of these two candidates. Catholic teaching on social issues is varied in that one can find conservatism, liberalism, and libertarianism if one wants to look for any of the three.
My guess is that McCain will edge out Obama on the Catholic vote 50-46-04 and win the election with about 49% of the popular vote with votes siphoned off the main 2 candidates by 3rd party candidates.

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rick hitchcock

posted July 6, 2008 at 6:57 am

It is hard enough in todays USA to find people with values and that really practice what they preach. I know I can’t wait to vote until you find a candiate that I feel shares the bulk of my values, however I can refuse to vote for any cadidate that supports abortion. I just haven’t found any thing .the war. economy . or gasoline prices that trumps the right to life. I simply will not support any one whom supports murder. Further more I hope to beable to find activist that can help make people aware that our founding fathers did not mention any where in the constitution the right of any one ,court, congress. or excecutive to interpete or reinterpete our constitution.

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joan Z

posted July 6, 2008 at 1:49 pm

It is a mortal sin to vote for a pro-choice canidate, plain and simple, end of story!!!!!!!!!!

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posted July 6, 2008 at 10:44 pm

I am a Catholic who voted for Reagan twice, in large part because of the abortion issue. He had a Republican majority in the House and Senate and what did pro-lifers get? Sandra Day O’Connor. What did George H. W. Bush give pro-lifers? Pro-Roe David Souter. Yes, George W. appointed Roberts and Alito, but as conservative as they have been so far, I don’t believe for a minute that they will vote to overturn Roe. When they approved the partial-birth abortion ban they could have criticized Roe as Scalia did, but they chose not to. So, where has the Republican “pro-life” party come since 1980? Pre-emptive war, torture, ignoring the Constitution, ignoring the environment, ignoring the poor, millions still with no health insurance, making scapegoats of illegal immigrants. Yeah, real Catholic of them. This Catholic will vote for Obama if only to say to the Republican party,
“This Catholic won’t get fooled again”.

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posted July 8, 2008 at 11:34 am

The PRIMARY issue in this election or ANY election is the Right to Life. I believe that the question, “Where has the Republican “pro-life” party come since 1980?” is not the issue. The main issue is “Where are You ?”! The responsiblity is OURS and YOURS. True Catholics (wothy of the name) must always be both individually and as a “group”, supporting the “pro-life candidate. Remember that Our Blessed Lord, Who said ,”Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you” will be with you in the voting booth. The other issues, although they too are important, don’t come any where close to Right to Life. I must confess that I’m no big fan of Senator McCain for a lot of reasons, but I will be able to look my Creator in the face one day(God willing and be merciful to me)and say that I did the best I could with my one vote and voted AS A CATHOLIC in the election of 2008.

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posted July 13, 2008 at 4:51 pm

To Michael:
Yes, but the republican party is anti-abortion, and as joan z reminded us, that is all that matters. Other issues are irrelevant. Only the abortion issue matters. It matters so much, that the Vatican has issued canon 1329 so that if you should exercise any semblence of personal initiative, and vote for a democrat, you will be automatically excommunication.
The freedoms our forefathers fought and died for, freedoms guaranteed in the constitution, freedoms that allow us to pracitice catholicism in this country without persecution by the government, freedoms that allow us to speak out against the abortion issue, apparently dont matter to the Vatican. Abortion is all that matters.
to Joan Z:
According to the Vatican, voting for a pro-abortion candidate is a mortal sin, but interestingly enough, according to the same Vatican, a priest raping a children is “look the other way,dont tell, maybe no one will notice”.

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posted July 19, 2008 at 8:00 am

I don’t think the Catholic church focuses only on abortion, I feel the focus is love and if we truly love as Jesus loved we could never do anything to hurt another human being whether it be an unborn infant, a prisoner on death row, and elderly person etc. Catholics know or should know that war is wrong as well but sometimes situations happen that can’t be taken back so we are to do the best we can to go forward and try to rectify the situation.
I do think that when we know exactly how a politician votes on issues that are part of our Catholic faith and belief that we are morally and ethically bound as Catholic Christians to vote accordingly and to educate others as well. It is very easy to look up Obama’s record in the Illinois Senate and US Senate and you will see how pro death his votes are. You will be able to see his attempt to pass an infantacide bill in Illinois during his time in the state Senate. This to me is so ironic when he and others say their main concern is all the human life being lost in the current war, the figures are painful but they pale when compared to the lost of human life in abortions daily.
How do we place more value on one than the other?

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