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“Up for grabs”: a Democratic strategist on how to win the Catholic vote
The Deacon's Bench ^ | May 21, 2012 | Deacon Greg Kandra

Posted on 05/21/2012 3:38:33 PM PDT by NYer

>

Here’s another take on this election from Jim Arkedis of the Progressive Policy Institute. It offers a window into how Democrats are thinking about Catholics:

Catholics are up for grabs this year. A Gallup poll from April has President Obama and Mitt Romney tied among Catholics, 46 percent each. At nearly 20 percent of the population, Catholics have roughly mirrored the popular votein the last eight elections. They voted for Ronald Reagan and George Bush, but switched to Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996. In 2000, Catholics, like the country, went under 50 percent for George W. Bush; but against John Kerry,Bush took 52 percent; by 2008, they’d flipped to Barack Obama, 54-45.

It’s unclear whether the Obama campaign will specifically organize Catholic supporters or try to persuade moderate ones. This Monday, the campaign hired Michael Wear as its faith vote director. That’s an excellent first step, and Wear’s experience organizing faith-based outreach for Obama in 2008 and in the White House indicates that the Obama campaign is taking people who make their faith a priority seriously. Wear might have too much on his plate, however — the campaign Web site groups Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Southern Baptists and Muslims under a one-size-fits-all “Voters of Faith” outreach program. It’s a mistake to treat the Catholic vote just like the rest.

Perhaps no presidential candidate since John F. Kennedy has been able to unite this disparate flock. But President Obama’s task isn’t that tough. The key to winning the Catholic vote is to understand its composition — litmus-test abortion voters, moderates, women and Hispanics — and to aim to carry persuadable Catholics by healthy margins in crucial swing states. Failure to deliver them could cost the president re-election.

Recent events suggest that these vast groups of Catholic voters (again: women, moderates, Latinos) are now more open to a progressive faith-based message than they have been perhaps since Kennedy-Nixon. The Obama campaign should tread lightly, however, and resist any poll-driven urge to drive a wedge between the faithful and official church positions on women’s issues or same-sex marriage. Divisive messaging probably won’t fly among most Catholics, who may grumble about their religious leaders’ positions, but don’t seek overt separation from them. I can’t say that there’s any scientific evidence to support this theory, but it comes from my observations over a lifetime in the Catholic community.

The Obama campaign’s message should unequivocally stand with the church and Jesus Christ’s humble message of social justice, equality and inclusion. These are distinctly Catholic themes that draw sharp contrasts for Catholics who have tired of a Republican Party with less room for those who are not straight, male, white and self-sufficient…

…What would a Catholic voter outreach program look like? The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t exactly let political operatives walk in the front door and set up shop, but there are several progressive Catholic organizations — Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance, Catholic Democrats — that the campaign could engage first to build a volunteer corps. Within each district office, the campaign could identify Catholic precinct captains to recruit Catholic door-knockers to reach out to their friends from church. Then there’s advertising. It would be more difficult to construct this architecture from scratch, but however it’s done, it’s a must: a positive social justice message could be what tips the balance toward re-election for the president.

As a moderate Democrat and a Catholic, I disagree with my party when I say that I believe life begins at conception or that abortions should be performed only in cases of rape, incest or when a pregnancy threatens a mother’s life. In another era, those beliefs might have made me a Republican target. But I’m a Democrat, in part, because of the party’s deep belief in social justice: We’re the ones who make equality and inclusion central to our very being; we stick up for the little guy; we don’t believe everyone should fend for themselves all the time. That’s what Jesus said, and that’s the society President Obama wants to build.

Read it all.


TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; Religion & Politics
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/21/2012 3:38:42 PM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 05/21/2012 3:39:32 PM PDT by NYer (Open to scriptural suggestions.)
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To: NYer
I think these anti-life monsters have awoken a sleeping giant. Silent no more:

"Your vote will affect the future and be recorded in eternity"

I am not Catholic, but I stand with these people.

3 posted on 05/21/2012 3:53:47 PM PDT by Noumenon (If people saw socialists for what they truly are, slaughter would ensue - in self-defense.)
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This gentleman is whistling past the graveyard.

The election is still a long way off, so who knows what we might find on the ground in November. However, at this moment, with many devout Catholics, Obama is persona non grata.

As I've posted elsewhere on FR, I was at a large meeting of Knights of Columbus earlier this month. It is a meeting that I've attended every May for over a decade, including during several election years. It is something of a taboo to talk serious politics at these meetings, and I'd never heard much political talk in years past. Maybe a quiet conversation here or there, but it is a written rule of the Order to leave politics out of our work and deliberations.

This year, I heard many, many folks loudly denouncing the Kenyan anti-Christ. In fact, we listened to a message from our Supreme Knight Carl Anderson, and our Supreme Chaplain Archbishop Lori all but denouncing Obama by name, stating that his regime is a direct threat to religious liberty and our freedom as Catholics.

There is a new movie coming out next month, For Greater Glory, about the Cristiada War in Mexico where the atheist-inspired government tried to eliminate the religious liberties of Catholics and then to wipe out the Catholic Church, and murdered upwards of 30,000 Catholics, including many priests. This movie was heavily promoted at our meeting, and it was clear just what was the context.

I was chatting with one of my friends, and said something interpreted as hostile to the anti-Christ. An African-American gentleman sitting in front of me overheard our conversation, turned around, and vehemently agreed with me.

I think that Church-going Catholics may break sharply for Romney this year.

We should all pray for that final result.

4 posted on 05/21/2012 3:57:19 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer

As a Catholic of some 70 years , I hope we’re not that easily lead. IF OUR CATHOLIC VOTERS CAN CONSIDER VOTING FOR the Abortionist in Chief then they are not really Catholic.

Any one who supports Killing the most defenseless in our Society will chose others to kill for other reasons.

God Bless


5 posted on 05/21/2012 3:57:19 PM PDT by chatham
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To: chatham
Any one who supports Killing the most defenseless in our Society will chose others to kill for other reasons.

That's the heart of the matter. There is no limit - none at all - to which these killers without conscience will not go. Slaughter and atrocity for the sake of it.

6 posted on 05/21/2012 4:06:28 PM PDT by Noumenon (If people saw socialists for what they truly are, slaughter would ensue - in self-defense.)
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To: NYer

Obama has been attacking Catholics and Catholic institutions including diocoeses with the HHS mandate. I doubt that he will get much of a Catholic vote this time around.


7 posted on 05/21/2012 4:35:49 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer

They always cite these numbers as if they are based on solid evidence (but I don’t remember it being as high as 54% before—I thought 53 or 52%). How did they determine how many Catholics voted for Obama and how many for McCain? How many of those Catholics had been inside a church in the past month? or the past year? I think they include as Catholic everyone who was baptized as one and has not joined another religion.


8 posted on 05/21/2012 4:36:44 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: NYer

and resist any poll-driven urge to drive a wedge between the faithful and official church positions on women’s issues or same-sex marriage.

.........wouldn’t want this guys job after the events of the last couple of weeks.


9 posted on 05/21/2012 4:39:26 PM PDT by Recon Dad (Gas & Petroleum Junkie)
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To: Verginius Rufus

When you look at Catholics being only 12 % of the voting public — those numbers got skewed — probably with people who said they were Catholic but did not attend church regularly.

Many more people of other denominations voted for Obama than did Catholics.


10 posted on 05/21/2012 4:47:09 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: NYer
“Up for grabs”: a Democratic strategist on how to win the Catholic vote

That a strategist is needed at all outta tell the Catholics they are dealing with liars.

11 posted on 05/21/2012 4:49:54 PM PDT by Michael Barnes (Obamaa+ Downgrade)
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To: sitetest

My wife and I have seen that in her parish also. Four years ago, there were all kinds of Obama stickers on the cars in the parking lot, and people handing out flyers after church.

After the abortion mandate, all those stickers went away.


12 posted on 05/21/2012 5:01:17 PM PDT by redgolum ("God is dead" -- Nietzsche. "Nietzsche is dead" -- God.)
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To: Salvation
"Many more people of other denominations voted for Obama than did Catholics."

The most dishonest thing in that whole representation of the Church is the eagerness to count those who have wandered away from the Church to become nothing as still Catholic, but those who have wandered away to become Protestants and Protestants. Its as if some believe that God needs lies to bolster Him and that the Truth, which is God Himself can be discarded to advance ones own beliefs.

CCC 2469 - "Men could not live with one another if there were not mutual confidence that they were being truthful to one another." The virtue of truth gives another his just due. Truthfulness keeps to the just mean between what ought to be expressed and what ought to be kept secret: it entails honesty and discretion. In justice, "as a matter of honor, one man owes it to another to manifest the truth."

13 posted on 05/21/2012 5:18:17 PM PDT by Natural Law ("AMOR VINCIT OMNIA")
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To: redgolum
Dear redgolum,

The two things that struck me were 1) how vociferous folks were about getting rid of the garbage in the White House and 2) the fact that folks would say anything at all.

It is a formal policy of the Order not to discuss politics, especially at official events. And most everyone at this event was a senior member of some standing.


sitetest

14 posted on 05/21/2012 5:42:29 PM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer

“litmus-test abortion voters, moderates, women and Hispanics — and to aim to carry persuadable Catholics by healthy margins in crucial swing states.”

In ‘08 pres. Obama actually lost the Catholic vote in Ohio and Pa with McCain getting 52% according to the wonders of exit polling. Florida voted 50%, slightly shading towards pres. Obama. There’s a lot of dumb so called Catholics out there as Obama won nationally among those that call themselves Catholics, but I have to think that he hasn’t helped his cause in the last four years.

Freegards


15 posted on 05/21/2012 5:46:02 PM PDT by Ransomed
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To: Verginius Rufus

The Catholic vote consists of people who call themselves members of the Catholic church, and that the Pope counts as Catholics.


16 posted on 05/21/2012 5:50:15 PM PDT by ansel12 ( The first American vote for a man who believes that he will become literally God, an actual deity.)
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To: Salvation
When you look at Catholics being only 12 % of the voting public — those numbers got skewed — probably with people who said they were Catholic but did not attend church regularly.

The New York Times gave the figure of 27% for the Catholic voter percentage in 2008, do you still believe that a Catholic who is baptized is a Catholic forever?

17 posted on 05/21/2012 5:56:56 PM PDT by ansel12 ( The first American vote for a man who believes that he will become literally God, an actual deity.)
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To: Noumenon

I’m impressed.


18 posted on 05/21/2012 7:02:46 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: ansel12
The World Almanac has 68.5 million Catholics in the US as of 2011, but doesn't break it down by under 18 vs. over 18 or exclude non-citizens. A lot of illegal immigrants are at least nominally Catholic.

Someone may tell an exit poller that he's Catholic even if he last went to church 20 years ago--and someone like that may be more likely to vote Democrat.

19 posted on 05/21/2012 8:15:12 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Verginius Rufus

Yes, a baptized person who considers himself a Catholic, a recognized Catholic, a person doesn’t have to be baptized to call himself a Protestant when the pollster asks him, the ‘guy’ might even be an Obama voting, lesbian, Episcopal priestess, and she is counted as a Protestant if she says she isn’t Catholic, yet a Christian.

A Catholic is a member of a single church, someone baptized in that church, someone who knows they are a Catholic.


20 posted on 05/21/2012 8:29:46 PM PDT by ansel12 ( The first American vote for a man who believes that he will become literally God, an actual deity.)
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To: NYer

I think that the Democratic Party has just screwed itself.


21 posted on 05/21/2012 9:03:26 PM PDT by MarkBsnr (I would not believe in the Gospel, if the authority of the Catholic Church did not move me to do so.)
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To: NYer
But I’m a Democrat, in part, because of the party’s deep belief in social justice: We’re the ones who make equality and inclusion central to our very being; we stick up for the little guy; we don’t believe everyone should fend for themselves all the time. That’s what Jesus said, and that’s the society President Obama wants to build.

Check your premises - you will find one of them to be in error.

22 posted on 05/21/2012 9:28:39 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves (CTRL-GALT-DELETE)
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To: ansel12
The Catholic vote consists of people who call themselves members of the Catholic church, and that the Pope counts as Catholics.

Wrong. Nobody polls the Pope on these things.

The polls count self-identified Catholics.

As I've tried to explain to you multiple times, it's meaningless to speak of a "Catholic vote" if we're going to count "Catholics" who never actually attend Mass.

It's asking us to believe that someone's (claimed) faith influences their behavior in the voting booth in some significant manner, when it clearly doesn't influence their behavior at all in a matter as simple and mundane as getting out of bed and getting to Mass on Sunday morning.

23 posted on 05/22/2012 5:14:12 AM PDT by Campion ("Social justice" begins in the womb)
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To: Campion

....Or getting the Sunday mass obligation done and over with on the Saturday night before.


24 posted on 05/22/2012 5:22:22 AM PDT by Biggirl ("Jesus talked to us as individuals"-Jim Vicevich/Thanks JimV!)
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To: sitetest
I think that Church-going Catholics may break sharply for Romney this year.

Don't churchgoing Catholics always break sharply for the presidential candidate less aligned with baby killing?

I think if there's a sharper turn than usual, it'll be because the economy's in the toilet. Here in the Philly burbs, even the diehard union folk are beginning to badmouth Obama. These days, a smaller subset of them are practicing Catholics than in days gone by, but these guys are breaking towards Romney and it has nothing to do with the contraception mandate or abortion. For them, it's always been about their own pockets and a hazy perception that the Dem is out to protect the little guy.

25 posted on 05/22/2012 5:30:22 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: old and tired
Dear old and tired,

I'm under the impression that church-going Catholics tend to give majorities to “the presidential candidate less aligned with baby killing,” but not always a very large majority.

An increase of 10% of the vote of church-going Catholics for Romney over what McCain got, combined with an overall higher turnout by this population could make a two-million vote swing away from the Kenyan anti-Christ to Romney.

By itself, that's not enough to swing the election. But it's a darned good piece of what's needed.

As well, I don't think that it's birth control that's driving away church-going Catholics. Most church-going Catholics of child-bearing age who are married (or, sadly, sexually active without the benefit of marriage) use contraceptives. I just don't think they like the idea of the gubmint telling the Church what constitutes religious liberty.

As for the less-devout Catholics of whom you speak, who vote their pocketbooks primarily, you could well be right. I don't have as much first-hand contact with folks like that, but certainly, Obama’s economic record isn't conducive to pocketbook voters. A loss of 5 - 10% of this group could constitute a swing of another million or two votes.

A million here, a million there...

Even if Romney and Obama essentially tie for the overall Catholic vote (and I'm personally somewhat more optimistic than that), it would represent a swing of at least 3 million votes (Romney would receive 1.5 million more than the baseline, Obama would receive 1.5 million fewer than the baseline).

That sort of loss from a group that represents only about a quarter of the electorate would be devastating to the anti-Christ.


sitetest

26 posted on 05/22/2012 6:18:43 AM PDT by sitetest (If Roe is not overturned, no unborn child will ever be protected in law.)
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To: NYer

“But I’m a Democrat, in part, because of the party’s deep belief in social justice: We’re the ones who make equality and inclusion central to our very being; we stick up for the little guy; we don’t believe everyone should fend for themselves all the time. That’s what Jesus said, and that’s the society President Obama wants to build.”


U would have said that not too long ago. The thing is, that party doesn’t want pro-lifers at all, no matter how much they also care about underdogs. The party lets Obama and Sebelius make their attempt to abolish private, religious-based efforts to help the little guy. The party would like the vote of Catholics, but a genuine Catholic will never be supported by the Party.

No point in belonging to a Party that holds you in disdain. Republicans have been known to ignore or give false promises to people of faith, also, but there is not an ingrained disdain of Christianity in that party. As a newly-minted Republican, I am to do whatever I want to help “the little guy”, including the unborn, and nobody is sneering at me, my faith, or my efforts.


27 posted on 05/22/2012 7:33:43 AM PDT by married21 (As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.)
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To: sitetest
A recent sermon here was a very thinly disguised attack on Obama's gay marriage support.

There's a long anti-political tradition at the local church. The only one I remember overtly was collecting signatures to overturn Granholm's veto of a partial birth abortion ban.

28 posted on 05/22/2012 8:53:13 AM PDT by Darren McCarty (The Republican Party is bigger than the presidency.)
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To: Campion
The Pope heads the church, and the Catholic voters are counted as Catholics, just as they consider themselves Catholic.

Don't be obsessed with only counting Catholics who are pure enough to meet your personal approval, being how the world of voting and politics counts Catholics.

Everyone polled self-identifies, Protestant, Catholic, atheist, Jewish, non-religious. Even when screened for religiosity, Catholics don't come off too well when compared to non-catholic Christians.

It's asking us to believe that someone's (claimed) faith influences their behavior in the voting booth in some significant manner, when it clearly doesn't influence their behavior at all in a matter as simple and mundane as getting out of bed and getting to Mass on Sunday morning.

It does with non-catholic Christians. The pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, anti-God democratic Presidential candidate has never won the Protestant vote, and it isn't because they are all going to church, or even belong to a church.

29 posted on 05/22/2012 9:55:23 AM PDT by ansel12 ( The first American vote for a man who believes that he will become literally God, an actual deity.)
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To: Verginius Rufus
I think they include as Catholic everyone who was baptized as one and has not joined another religion.

They include anyone who self-identifies as Catholic, no matter how long it's been since they darkened the doorstep of a Catholic Church.

30 posted on 05/22/2012 6:29:43 PM PDT by SuziQ
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