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Do Catholics vote as a bloc?
GetReligion ^ | Feb. 20, 2008 | Mark Stricherz

Posted on 02/20/2008 5:03:43 PM PST by Alex Murphy

Via faithful GR reader Jerry, MSNBC broke down the exit polls from the Wisconsin primary last night. It found interesting trends among Catholic voters.

The most noteworthy statistic was that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama split the Catholic vote down the middle. Another interesting figure was that Clinton won narrowly among Catholics who attend Mass weekly (53 to 46), while Obama won narrowly among Catholics who don’t (52 to 47).

Why are these statistics remarkable? Well, alas, MSNBC did not answer the question, as it provided only each demographic group’s voting percentages.

But Jay Cost of RealClearPolitics answered one of the questions. He found that Catholics made a major shift toward Obama. Before the Wisconsin primary, Clinton had won Northern white Catholics by 26 percentage points. On Tuesday, she won them by only 2 percentage points.

That’s a large drop off. In fact, Clinton’s percentage among Catholic voters dropped off more than any other demographic. Her drop off among whites and blacks wasn’t as severe. Her drop off among males and females wasn’t as severe. Her drop off among union and non-union members wasn’t as severe. If the exit polls of beer drinkers had been released, her drop among them also likely wouldn’t have been as severe.

Why did Clinton lose about a quarter of her Catholic vote? So far, nobody has said. The Washington Post, New York Times, Boston Globe, and Chicago Tribune each failed to write about Clinton’s decline among Catholic voters.

But it wasn’t like reporters weren’t warned. Yesterday, The Politico ran this quote from Charles Franklin, a University of Wisconsin political scientist:

Franklin noted that Catholics, who he said make up 37 percent of Wisconsin Democratic primary voters, will be a key constituency.

“Clinton desperately needs to hold on to the Catholic vote,” he said, adding that Obama was well-served by getting staff on the ground and ads on the air before Clinton. “Voters in these late states are experiencing him up close for the first time.”

Some reporter should find out the reasons for Clinton’s big drop off among Catholics. This promises to be a fascinating story.

Whenever I write a post about Catholic voters, often a GR reader will question the assumption behind it. Catholics allegedly no longer vote as a bloc. Rising affluence, democracy, and education among Catholics are said to have homogenized them, making their decisions in the voting booths no different from that of typical Americans. Yet the results from the Wisconsin primary suggest that some Catholics do vote as a bloc.

Someone needs to get to the bottom of this.


TOPICS: Catholic; Moral Issues; Religion & Culture; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS: catholicvote

1 posted on 02/20/2008 5:03:45 PM PST by Alex Murphy
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To: Alex Murphy

No, Catholics do not vote as a block. I am not Catholic but I am married to a “Roman” who takes his religion seriously and will not usually vote for candidates who support abortion, for example. Plenty of Catholics, though, vote Democrat, vote paycheck, vote union, etc.

Yes, Hillary is dropping Catholics left and right — and everybody else,too.

That’s because she is a phony, overbearing, strident b!tch, and people can see through her. This is a thrilling moment, and I am enjoying every moment of her a$$-kicking ride downhill.


2 posted on 02/20/2008 5:09:41 PM PST by Old Lady
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To: Old Lady
That’s because she is a phony, overbearing, strident b!tch, and people can see through her.

Allow me to introduce you to one Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama:

Michelle Obama - We have to fix our souls - our souls are broken [AUDIO & TRANSCRIPT]
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1972093/posts

Michelle Obama: 'First Time In My Adult Lifetime I Am Really Proud Of My Country'
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1972457/posts

Michelle Obama's chip on her shoulder
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/02/michelle-obamas-chip-on-her-shoulder.html

Mrs. Obama as an Ivy League schoolgirl
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/02/mrs-obama-as-ivy-league-schoolgirl.html

Juvenilia
http://isteve.blogspot.com/2008/02/juvenilia.html


3 posted on 02/20/2008 5:30:29 PM PST by KayEyeDoubleDee (const Tag &referenceToConstTag)
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To: Alex Murphy

Did they poll any Catholics voting for republicans?


4 posted on 02/20/2008 5:43:37 PM PST by verga (I'm not an apologist I just play one on TV)
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To: Alex Murphy
I have no clue, about the question as a whole (except a vague perception that in the old days Catholics tended to go Democrat), OR about the significance of these data. I'd guess they were just polling Dumbocrat RCs, and within that party it looks like they didn't go in a bloc.

Do you have a notion?

5 posted on 02/20/2008 5:50:23 PM PST by Mad Dawg (Oh Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.)
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To: Alex Murphy

I was a democrat at one time (Catholic mom, protestant dad - both die-hard democrats). Mom’s parents were immigrants, dad’s were big time union. I wised up a few years ago and broke the mold. I am a Catholic and a Republican. I vote for my candidate based on many issues - but the pro-life issue is very important to me. Strong defense and right to bear arms is also very important. I really don’t know how other Catholics vote on those issues. I vote as I believe - not how someone else says I should vote.

There are a lot of Republicans in my parish, incidentally.


6 posted on 02/20/2008 6:08:02 PM PST by sneakers (STILL supporting Duncan Hunter! Proudly!)
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To: Alex Murphy

No, but they should. No Christian should EVER vote for a RAT.


7 posted on 02/20/2008 6:11:31 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: sneakers

Good for you.


8 posted on 02/20/2008 6:12:49 PM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: Alex Murphy; GambrillsGuy; 50mm; Elvina; ConservativeTrucker; SavannahJake; PaulZe; AKA Elena; ...
+

Freep-mail me to get on or off my pro-life and Catholic List:

Add me / Remove me

Please ping me to note-worthy Pro-Life or Catholic threads, or other threads of interest.

9 posted on 02/20/2008 6:13:59 PM PST by narses (...the spirit of Trent is abroad once more.)
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To: Alex Murphy

Liberal Catholics vote for liberals. Conservative Catholics who follow the Church’s teaching on sanctity of life issues, vote for like minded candidates.

In the Archdiocese of San Antonio, the Archbishop has issued several statements on candidates who either do or don’t follow Catholic teaching. This was in response to a forum given to two Presidential Candidates by a Catholic University in San Antonio.

If you look at the Obama & Clinton supporters in their appearances in San Antonio, it is obvious Catholic teaching is falling on deaf ears.


10 posted on 02/20/2008 6:22:05 PM PST by sockmonkey
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To: Conservativegreatgrandma
No, but they should. No Christian should EVER vote for a RAT.

Nothing wrong with voting in an open Democrat primary if the Republican race is decided.

Between two candidates like Hillary and Obama, you vote for the one you think most likely to lose the general election.

11 posted on 02/20/2008 6:46:18 PM PST by Campion
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To: Alex Murphy

All this article says to me is that Catholics can make stupid and immoral decisions just like any member of any other group.


12 posted on 02/20/2008 7:26:30 PM PST by baa39 (Help Sgt. Evan Vela! DefendOurTroops.org)
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To: Alex Murphy
Do Catholics vote as a bloc?

Yes, they vote D.

13 posted on 02/20/2008 7:43:21 PM PST by j_tull (Massachusetts, the Gay State. Once leader of the American Revolution, now leading its demise.)
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To: Campion

Agreed.


14 posted on 02/21/2008 4:50:58 AM PST by Conservativegreatgrandma
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To: j_tull
Yes, they vote D.

Proof, please?

15 posted on 02/21/2008 8:59:51 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: al_c

Given the secret ballot nature or our system, the “proof” you request is not obtainable. I offer my observation as a native midwesterner exiled in Connecticut. The RC’s I know and/or are related to are proud of their european heritage, proud of their union membership, and locked in to group think that every D running is JFK. I am surrounded by them. Voting and attending mass are similar to them. You don’t have to do anything, beyond repeating long remembered and unvaring responses to the priest’s long remembered and unvarying prompts. The long remembered and unvaring vote is D. Just my experience. I pray it is not universal, but the article suggests I am not alone in this observation.


16 posted on 02/21/2008 6:51:00 PM PST by j_tull (Massachusetts, the Gay State. Once leader of the American Revolution, now leading its demise.)
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To: j_tull

Ronald Reagan won a large percentage of Catholic voters. In fact, I saw where Catholics are the last of the swing voters, if you take all Catholics as the population. Every election since 1972, the Catholic vote has been with the winner (I need to find that cite), with exception of maybe 1 time. George Bush in 2004 received 54% of the Catholic vote and Kerry, a Catholic received 46%. Of course if you break down which types of Catholics voted for Bush vs. Kerry, you will find those who regularly attend Mass, go to confession, etc, voted for Bush. Cafeteria and Cultural Catholic types tended to vote for Kerry.

Regards


17 posted on 02/21/2008 7:04:43 PM PST by CTrent1564
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To: j_tull
I offer my observation as a native midwesterner exiled in Connecticut. The RC’s I know and/or are related to are proud of their european heritage, proud of their union membership, and locked in to group think that every D running is JFK. I am surrounded by them. Voting and attending mass are similar to them. You don’t have to do anything, beyond repeating long remembered and unvaring responses to the priest’s long remembered and unvarying prompts. The long remembered and unvaring vote is D. Just my experience. I pray it is not universal, but the article suggests I am not alone in this observation.

That sounds awfully familiar!

18 posted on 02/21/2008 8:05:02 PM PST by Alex Murphy ("Therefore the prudent keep silent at that time, for it is an evil time." - Amos 5:13)
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To: CTrent1564
Thanks for this post. It helps with a personal decision I've been making. We pretty much stopped regularly attending our Methodist church when my daughter's Sunday School lessons started to be about how humans were destroying the Earth by cutting down too many trees, etc., and my pastor told me that supporting homosexuals and abortion was the Methodist way.

We've been trying to decide whether to go back to my husband's Catholic roots (involving a conversion for me) or join a Missouri Synod Lutheran church. One area of concern for me has been the Catholic's apparent disregard for the teachings of the church when they vote. The distinction you make between cultural Catholics and Mass-attending Catholics makes sense.

19 posted on 02/22/2008 5:26:17 AM PST by Elvina
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To: j_tull
Given the secret ballot nature or our system, the “proof” you request is not obtainable.

That B.S. and you know it. During the last presidential election, the Catholic vote was split close to 50/50.

I offer my observation as a native midwesterner exiled in Connecticut.

Please accept my condolences. ;o)

The RC’s I know and/or are related to are proud of their european heritage, proud of their union membership, and locked in to group think that every D running is JFK. I am surrounded by them. Voting and attending mass are similar to them. You don’t have to do anything, beyond repeating long remembered and unvaring responses to the priest’s long remembered and unvarying prompts. The long remembered and unvaring vote is D. Just my experience. I pray it is not universal, but the article suggests I am not alone in this observation.

It's far from universal. The Catholic folk I know here are also proud of their heritgae (Czech, German, Irish, Italian, etc) and most of the ones I know tend to vote Republican. It's really a tough call for those of us who really do follow the teachings of the Church. On one hand, we could side with the Dems on some social issues. But on the other hand, we can NOT be flixible on the pro-life and the embryonic stem cell issues (among others). Now if the Dems would turn around and suppport pro-life issues, then you're assessment of the Catholic vote going Dem might actually become factual.

20 posted on 02/22/2008 5:47:55 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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To: al_c
I never stop working on them, especially on the Pro-Life/Party of Death issues. The union influence is ingrained deeply and has been for generations, though. I will be more careful with sweeping generalizations, thanks for the conversation.
21 posted on 02/23/2008 6:25:08 AM PST by j_tull (Massachusetts, the Gay State. Once leader of the American Revolution, now leading its demise.)
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To: j_tull
I never stop working on them, especially on the Pro-Life/Party of Death issues. The union influence is ingrained deeply and has been for generations, though.

Keep on 'em!!! :o)

I will be more careful with sweeping generalizations,

No worries.

thanks for the conversation.

Likewise.

22 posted on 02/25/2008 6:30:40 AM PST by al_c (Avoid the consequences of erudite vernacular utilized irrespective of necessity)
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