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The Catholic Vote Swings (Why it could swing BIG this year)
National Review ^ | 06/13/2012 | Michael Novak

Posted on 06/13/2012 4:11:37 AM PDT by SeekAndFind

The new wisdom is that Catholics vote just like everybody else. That purported wisdom isn’t wise.

The Catholic vote differs in four decisive ways from the Protestant, Jewish, and secular votes.

(1) The Catholic vote is concentrated mainly in the largest states in the Electoral College: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey.

(2) A larger proportion of Catholics than of any other religious group except Jews votes regularly, every election. In some jurisdictions (Chicago, Boston) Catholic voters have been known to vote at a rate of 104 percent or more when necessary, some of them after their natural deaths.

(3) In some key states, the Catholic vote, although tending more Democratic, is fairly evenly split between the Democrats and the Republicans. Keeping the Catholic vote for the Democrat down even to 52 percent may be enough to get a Republican elected.

And (4) — most important of all — in many states Catholic voters frequently swing between parties by margins of 3 to 6 percent. And even more in some years.

As political professionals know well, each swinger counts twice. Each takes a vote away from one column and puts it into the other. If on a national basis the 25 million Catholic votes (24 percent of all votes cast) swing by 1 million votes toward Romney and away from Obama, that gives Romney a net gain of 2 million votes in relation to his competitor, and Obama a net loss of 2 million. This year it seems more likely to be a swing of 2 million for Romney, a net loss to Obama of 4 million. And it may be even a larger swing, depending on how powerful the broad-based campaign to protect religious liberty turns out to be.

The historical record of these large swings helps to explain why the Catholic vote has gone with the winning side in so many elections since 1952. Put another way, the Catholic swing vote has more than any other decided the winner, just because it is of such significant numbers. No Democrat since 1952 (except for Clinton in 1992) has ever won the White House without a majority of the Catholic vote.

In some states, as noted above, Republicans do not have to win a majority of the Catholic vote to carry the state; they need only hold down the Democratic Catholic majority by two or three percentage points. In Pennsylvania, my home state, the rule among professionals was that if the Catholic vote for the Democrat could be held down to 52 percent, the Republican could take the state.

Percentage of Catholic Vote for Presidential Winners

1952: Eisenhower, 44%

1956: Eisenhower, 49%

1960: Kennedy, 78%

1964: Johnson, 76%

1968: Nixon, 33%

1972: Nixon, 52%

1976: Carter, 57%

1980: Reagan, 47%

1984: Reagan, 61%

1988: Bush, 49%

1992: Clinton, 47%

1996: Clinton, 55%

2000: Bush, 46%

2004: Bush, 48%

2008: Obama, 53%

(The figures above are from Gallup. In the three-way race of 1968, Nixon lost the Catholic vote to Hubert Humphrey by a margin of 59 percent to 33 percent, but managed to squeak out a victory, since much of the Southern Protestant vote went to George Wallace. In 1972, however, Mr. Nixon’s 52 percent broke the Democratic lock on the Catholic vote.)

Finally, it may be that in some years a particular factor affects a significant slice of Catholic voters more than most others — the chance to elect the first Catholic president in 1960, for instance.

And Catholics tend to identify themselves as Catholics long after they have ceased going to church (“born Catholic” or “non-practicing Catholic,” these tend to qualify their identity). The difference in voting patterns between Catholics who go to Mass at least weekly and those who don’t is in some matters (partial-birth abortion, e.g.) unusually large. In 2012, I expect the defense of religious liberty to cut as deeply against Obama as 3 million Catholic voters or more. Worth watching.

— Michael Novak is distinguished visiting professor at Ave Maria University and co-author, with Jana Novak, of Washington’s God.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: catholic; swingvote

1 posted on 06/13/2012 4:11:46 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind
I find it amazing that Catholics can vote for pro-abortion candidates in such big numbers.

How do they go to church on Sunday? What are they listening too when the Priest is speaking?

2 posted on 06/13/2012 4:21:20 AM PDT by PA-RIVER
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To: PA-RIVER
What are they listening too when the Priest is speaking?

Sadly, solid preaching on the Church's teaching is lacking in most homilies.

("I'm OK, you're OK, is NOT part of the teaching)

3 posted on 06/13/2012 4:28:18 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o

Well with the Pope appointing new bishops who are “traditional”. Plus the new seminarians are traditional-minded.


4 posted on 06/13/2012 4:32:07 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: PA-RIVER

RE: What are they listening too when the Priest is speaking?

I would surmise that many Catholics are like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden...

They define their faith based on what they personally believe is right, not by what the church teaches.


5 posted on 06/13/2012 4:33:58 AM PDT by SeekAndFind (bOTRT)
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To: SeekAndFind

2008: Obama, 53%

That figure alone is a disgrace.


6 posted on 06/13/2012 4:40:49 AM PDT by Col Frank Slade
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To: PA-RIVER

“How do they go to church on Sunday? What are they listening too when the Priest is speaking?”

It’s less teaching and more chanting...


7 posted on 06/13/2012 4:42:26 AM PDT by libdestroyer
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To: PA-RIVER

The Catholic Church gets condemned if it doesn’t strong-arm parishioners to vote a certain way and she gets condemned if she does strong-arm parishioners to vote a certain way.

The good news is that most of the deadwood priests who got caught in the faux spirit of Vatican II crap have been replaced with solid sturdy growing oaks who are the priests that have been ordained since the 1990s. The solid preaching and exhortations to live the gospel and doctrine that stems from that gospel do wonders in the voting booth without any stron-arm tactics necessary.

Those still in a hellish faux spirit of VatII parish: hold on, the sacraments are worth the sacrifice and soon a good priest will replace the one leading your parish who was poorly formed.


8 posted on 06/13/2012 4:47:06 AM PDT by Notwithstanding (Christ Jesus Victor, Ruler, Lord and Redeemer!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Perhaps they like Religious Freedom and will vote for it?

Pray for America


9 posted on 06/13/2012 4:55:05 AM PDT by bray (Power to We the People)
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To: Col Frank Slade
2008: Obama, 53% That figure alone is a disgrace.

Especially when Obama's stance on post-birth abortion (denying med care to abortion-surviving infants in IL) was one of the few "knowns" about his ideology.

10 posted on 06/13/2012 5:04:19 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: bray
Perhaps they like Religious Freedom and will vote for it?

If, come November, they don't.. that'll speak volumes about their intensity of faith.

11 posted on 06/13/2012 5:06:14 AM PDT by ScottinVA (Buying Drain-O requires photo I.D... yet voting doesn't???)
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To: PA-RIVER
How do they go to church on Sunday? What are they listening too when the Priest is speaking?

The same way Southern Baptists go to church on Sunday...and mainline protestants. The 53% are probably Catholic in Name Only. I'm Southern Baptist and a minister. I work in Church Revitalization and in some of our SBC churches it is not uncommon to see 10-15% attendance of the membership roll. Even "healthy" churches are lucky to have 30% attendance of the roll. Now granted, some of the problem is churches are as bad at purging the membership rolls as the states are purging the voter rolls...but the biggest problem is people backslide...stopped coming.

Where are they (by and large)? The same place as the RCC members: They are apostates from their faith. They have the same divorce rate as the lost...they commit the same frequency of sexual sins as the lost...they talk like the lost in the workplace...but their name is on a church roll some where and they may even occasionally attend...just like Catholics. They are not "changed"...they are not a "New Creation."

And so they vote like the lost.

12 posted on 06/13/2012 5:41:03 AM PDT by NELSON111
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To: PA-RIVER

“Catholics tend to identify themselves as Catholics long after they have ceased going to church”

I would hazard a guess that when it comes to polling voters, these people may be the majority of “Catholics” showing up in any given poll that does not break down the numbers based on who actually goes to church.


13 posted on 06/13/2012 5:47:44 AM PDT by siunevada (If we learn nothing from history, what's the point of having one? - Peggy Hill)
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To: SeekAndFind

One of the reasons for the large Catholic vote is the church supported in a quiet way the Obama agenda. The parts about helping illegals, universal health care, take care of your brother and peace across the land. Now that they have made their bargain with the devil the church sees the error of their ways (a little too late) Today the church is against Obama and they subtly question his motives and future plans. At least that is what I see in my parish here in NY


14 posted on 06/13/2012 6:05:59 AM PDT by shoff (Vote Democratic it beats thinking!)
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To: SeekAndFind
76% for Johnson?

57% for Carter?

Less than 50% for George W.? (Presumably more than 50% for Gore and Kerry?)

Majority went for Obama?

Sheesh.

15 posted on 06/13/2012 7:30:57 AM PDT by what's up
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HUGE difference between faithful,Mass attending Catholics and those who were born Catholic but no longer believe. The Democrat Party s infested with the latter: Biden, Pelosi,the Kennedys, the Daleys, Durbin, Sebelius, the people who run Georgetown. These faux or lapsed Catholics are no longer Catholics at all, really. They have excommunicated themselves by their relentless support for unrestricted abortion. But they pose as Catholics, the media presents them as Catholics, and our godless president will use them as cover.
16 posted on 06/13/2012 8:41:09 AM PDT by Godwin1
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To: Godwin1

“But they pose as Catholics, the media presents them as Catholics, and our godless president will use them as cover”

That’s because the media HATES the Catholic Church and wants destroy it any way they can. Promoting liberal Catholics who go to Mass once a year is an attempt to tar and feather all Catholics are non-believing bigots. Faithful Catholics that try to live their life according to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church did not vote for pro-abortion, Catholic-hating Obama.


17 posted on 06/13/2012 9:14:16 AM PDT by NKP_Vet (creep.)
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To: shoff
As an outsider looking in, I see the Catholic church as traditionally comfortable with government and not as sensitive as I would prefer to the dichotomy between “society” and government. Government is part of society, but the governmentist - people who call themselves “liberal” but actually desire tyranny - think of government and society as co-extensive. So if, for example, Governor Bush of Texas said “Texas spent so much on health care,” the governmentist would think that was false unless the government of Texas spent that amount. Whatever was spent personally by Texans on their own, doesn’t count.

Interesting bit of Buck County, PA history: the church I’ve been attending lately was founded by William Tennent. He also started what was derogatorily called the “log college” - a one-room schoolhouse for the education of ministers locally. It only graduated about a dozen students, some of them sons of William Tennent himself. But those graduates went on to be instrumental in the founding of dozens of well-known colleges. One of Tennent’s sons was a trustee of a thriving little college in New Jersey, and one evening he arrived late to a meeting. When he arrived, all the other trustees were discussing an offer by the government to take over and fund the college. Mr. Tennent reacted by saying that before he would see the government control the college he would set fire to the four corners of the building, and disappear into the night. That was the end of that discussion!

But the Catholic Church would not react in the same way, IMHO. More’s the pity. Now the POTUS is taking off the mask, and the Catholic Church is beginning to see the applicability of the English proverb, "He that sups with the Devil shall have need of a long spoon,” to relations with the government. Just a little behind William Tennent’s son, tho . . .

18 posted on 06/13/2012 10:05:43 AM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (The idea around which “liberalism" coheres is that NOTHING actually matters except PR.)
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Comment #19 Removed by Moderator

To: SeekAndFind

White Catholics will vote for Romney. Minority Catholics are solid Democrats.


20 posted on 06/13/2012 8:27:26 PM PDT by rmlew ("Mosques are our barracks, minarets our bayonets, domes our helmets, the believers our soldiers.")
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To: don-o; All

As I mentioned on another thread, let’s write a letter to the editor to our Catholic newspapers reminding Catholics that they should not put party affiliation, charisma or personal issues ahead of morality when they vote.


21 posted on 06/13/2012 8:30:35 PM PDT by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: NELSON111
Even "healthy" churches are lucky to have 30% attendance of the roll.

Isn't that true for just about any denomination:

  1. One-third active, regular attendees.
  2. One-third lukewarm, will probably show up for Easter, Christmas, Mother's Day or if you are giving away free stuff.
  3. One-third in name only.

No matter who I talk to, it seems to be the same general story. Although some individual congregations are very strong and active.

22 posted on 06/13/2012 9:39:36 PM PDT by Vigilanteman (Obama: Fake black man. Fake Messiah. Fake American. How many fakes can you fit in one Zer0?)
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To: PA-RIVER
Well, one needs to check how many of those who DO vote for the baby-killing scum are regular mass-going as opposed to CINOs

As the article points out the difference between these two blocks of voters is large (it's the same among non-Catholic groups)

Among those who still are believing, i can only say idiocy or habit. and THESE are the people we need to drill the message to -- "you are voting for babykillers, how can you go to communion and do this?" -- it's up to you and me, whether Catholic or not to drill this message into their brains

Even among CINOs, the message is hard-hitting

Couple it with Obamacare's taking away of the civil liberties and we have a message for CINOs or even worse as well.

23 posted on 06/14/2012 2:04:12 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: NELSON111
I'I'm Southern Baptist and a minister

thank you for bringing clarity.

24 posted on 06/14/2012 2:06:35 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: NELSON111; Col Frank Slade
I'I'm Southern Baptist and a minister

thank you for bringing clarity.

25 posted on 06/14/2012 2:06:56 AM PDT by Cronos (**Marriage is about commitment, cohabitation is about convenience.**)
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To: don-o

“What are they listening to when the priest is speaking?”

Speeches of famous totalitarians.

IMHO


26 posted on 06/14/2012 4:11:14 AM PDT by ripley
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To: SeekAndFind

Values that RC and Prots and even some Jews believe, could be a bloc that could really change some states to Mitt instead of the secular humanist Dems. Few Dems who run as pols deal with values since not many of them believe them. Why would any Prot, RC, or believing Jew vote for any Dem??? Fear of some weird Pub Christian Kingdom???? What rot! Serious Christians and those looking for a coming Messiah, know that the Lord is the only King they want not some dopey human who would end up looking like....Obama, yikes again. LOL


27 posted on 06/14/2012 2:29:56 PM PDT by phillyfanatic
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To: rmlew
"Minority Catholics are solid Democrats."

I don't think so. "Hispanic" Catholics, perhaps true. But I think you will find the Vietnamese and other eastern-derived Catholics are very conservative. And not all "Hispanic" Catholics, either......those from the Phillipines, for instance.

28 posted on 06/15/2012 5:03:16 AM PDT by Wonder Warthog
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To: SeekAndFind

“The Catholic vote is concentrated mainly in the largest states in the Electoral College: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, New Jersey.”

Obama lost the ‘catholic vote’ in Ohio, Pa, and New Jersey. Basically tied in Fla. Can’t see how he made up any ground since then with the mandate thing, but never underestimate the power of stupidity.

FReegards


29 posted on 06/15/2012 5:22:30 AM PDT by Ransomed
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To: PA-RIVER

The problem is, so many of them DO NOT go to church on Sunday.

They go to Church on Easter and Christmas, if at all.

You’ll find that study after study of Catholics who regularly attend Mass vote conservatively on moral issues.


30 posted on 06/15/2012 6:44:12 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Cronos

Very good point. I’d like to see it boldly proclaimed in Father’s next homily.

We should be saying so to our fellow Chrisitans at all times.


31 posted on 06/15/2012 6:54:41 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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