Skip to comments.The Catholic Vote Swings (Why it could swing BIG this year)
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 isnt 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. Nixons 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 dont 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 Washingtons God.
How do they go to church on Sunday? 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)
Well with the Pope appointing new bishops who are “traditional”. Plus the new seminarians are traditional-minded.
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.
2008: Obama, 53%
That figure alone is a disgrace.
“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...
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.
Perhaps they like Religious Freedom and will vote for it?
Pray for America
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.
If, come November, they don't.. that'll speak volumes about their intensity of faith.
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.
“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.
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
57% for Carter?
Less than 50% for George W.? (Presumably more than 50% for Gore and Kerry?)
Majority went for Obama?
“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.
Interesting bit of Buck County, PA history: the church Ive 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 Tennents 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. Mores 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 Tennents son, tho . . .
White Catholics will vote for Romney. Minority Catholics are solid Democrats.