Skip to comments.The Disappearing White Catholic Voter
Posted on 11/28/2012 3:46:35 PM PST by NYer
For over seventy years, white blue-collar Catholics who have lived and worked in America’s once great industrial states were the voting bloc that provided the margins of victory for Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan, and the two Bushes. The 2012 election results, however, indicate these Catholics no longer have that kind of clout at the ballot box.
Why? First of all, they are an aging group whose numbers are declining every year. About 650 Catholic World War II and Korean War veterans die every day. That translates into 950,000 in the last four years. Add spouses and the number may easily have hit 2 million.
Next, the once solid Catholic vote is fractured beyond repair. Millions of grandchildren and great grandchildren of those aging Catholics have abandoned their faith and embraced secularism. Fifty-seven percent of white cafeteria Catholics cast their ballots for Obama in 2012. And equal percentage of practicing Catholics voted for Romney.
Finally, in recent years a subset of blue-collar Catholics have dropped out of the work force for no apparent reason (Charles Murray examines this phenomena in Coming Apart: The State of White America). Some live with their folks, collect unemployment benefits, and occasionally grab “off the books” jobs. They refuse to become responsible adults and soak up a living from poverty programs. These Catholics typically either don’t vote or support big government candidates.
For all these reasons, plus the fact that Obama’s campaign devoted huge resources to identifying and turning out its base (and convinced former supporters to sit out the election – 8.3 million 2008 white voters did not cast a ballot this year), Romney lost all the Rust Belt states with large Catholic populations:
Pennsylvania (35 percent Catholic) – This was one to watch in 2012 because of its large white Catholic population (only 4 percent are Hispanic) and because it has the fourth oldest population in the nation. As William Galston of the Brookings Institute predicted last June: “Obama got 47 percent of the white Catholic vote in 2008; right now he has 37 percent. . .potentially a big deal in the Midwest. . . .despite the fact that Obama is now ahead in Pennsylvania, I don’t see how he carries Pennsylvania with white Catholic support at that level.”
In November, Romney received 50 percent of generic Catholic vote, down 2 percent from McCain’s 2008 percentage. White Catholics broke 56-44 percent for Romney. Obama carried nine of the top twenty Catholic counties, down two from 2008. But, in those counties, Romney’s total votes, vis–à–vis McCain’s, were down 40,192 (-2.6 percent).
Michigan (29 percent Catholic) – In his home state, Romney received 55 percent of the generic Catholic vote and 55 percent of white Catholics. He carried 12 of the top 20 Catholic counties. Four years earlier McCain received 46 percent and 51 percent respectively, and carried only 5 of the top Catholic counties. Obama’s total votes in those counties were down 69,339 votes (-8.3 percent) while Romney’s were up 29,635 votes (+4.45 percent). Nevertheless, this small shift was not nearly enough to put Romney over the top
Romney lost Michigan because he did not make serious inroads in densely populated Catholic counties. One-time Reagan Democrats in bellwether McComb County stuck with Obama giving him 52 percent of their votes. In 2008 Obama received 53 percent. The Obama campaign’s message that Romney was a plutocrat who would shut down Michigan’s automobile industry worked.
Ohio (26 percent Catholic) – This must-win state went for Obama, 50.9 percent versus 49 percent for Romney.
Romney’s Catholic percentages improved over McCain’s by about 3 percent, but the total number of Catholics who went to the polls was down in 15 key counties, declining 3.6 percent (28,321 votes) compared to McCain. Meanwhile, Obama easily carried and maintained his margins in the densely populated heavily Catholic counties of Cuyahoga and Hamilton.
The Obama campaign convinced disenchanted white blue-collar Catholics to stay home on Election Day and while the black vote was down 1 million nationally their turnout in Ohio increased by 178,000.
Wisconsin (32 percent Catholic) – Thanks to favorite son Paul Ryan, this was the only Rust Belt state in which voter turnout increased. Total votes cast in 2012 were up 86,092 (+2.68 percent) over 2008. Obama went down 2.9 percent and Romney up 11.6 percent.
Romney carried 56 percent of the generic Catholic vote and 57 percent of white Catholics (McCain got 53 percent and 52 percent, respectively). The Romney ticket also squeaked by in Ryan’s congressional district with 51 percent. (McCain, 48 percent).
Romney increased his vote totals over McCain’s in all but two top Catholic counties. He won 24 (versus 9 for McCain), but his vote total was only 63,266 out of 2.4 million cast. Romney’s gains were offset by Obama’s gains in the two most populated Catholic counties, Dane (Madison) and Milwaukee. The Obama campaign focused on its base and turned out more supporters than in 2008. Obama carried Wisconsin with 53 percent (56 percent in 2008).
Romney needed at least two of the states described here to win. He lost them all because, in my judgment, practicing Catholic voters were not persuaded to come out in force.
Romney’s numbers crunchers did not understand the importance of practicing Catholics in tightly contested Rust Belt states and did not effectively cultivate them. They were also afraid to advertise Romney’s anti-abortion stand and opposition to same-sex marriage to energize these Catholics. The Obama campaign exploited these errors. And let’s not forget the American bishops. Most of them failed to mobilize Catholics over religious liberty on Election Day.
Thus ends a once great force in America’s electoral politics: white Catholic voters. What a pity.
Most of those “Catholics” who voted for Obama are pagans. They don’t go to church, they don’t believe in a god other than the state, they favor abortion and gay marriage. The media love to lump all “Catholics” together to try and show a fissure between Catholics and their church. However, I am confident that faith filled Catholics overwhelmingly voted for Romney.
Unfortunately, too many Romney votes ended up being switched to 0bama or discarded all together. The regime is a separate country working within our own. They laugh at us now.
For George W, that was in 2004, he lost the Catholic vote to Gore in 2000, and they voted Clinton in 1992.
There are numerous pagans among Catholics.
Let’s not forget that “Catholics” started the French revolution with all its anti-Catholic violence. The same is true for the Spanish civil war during which many thousands of priests and nuns were slaughtered by “Catholics”.
I’m still here, LOL!
See George Weigel’s recent interview with Raymond Arroyo. THere were two, this one is the first one, like a week before election day or so.
He claims there is no “Catholic vote”, but a, oh, now I am going to forget it, a faithful or a practicing religious vote.
Of course, pracicing Catholics can not vote for a pro abortion candidate and they know it.
The biggest problem I see with this article is that it seems to imply that the Catholic vote will never return. On the one hand he says they’re dying. Are they dying at a faster rate than other constituencies? Are their offspring switching to other faiths? Are they simply not voting? (He says that at one point in the article too)
Their jobs are shipped throughout the world, their unions busted, education costs have skyrocketed, as has health care costs, retirement plans have drifted away and they still staff the armies. The GOP has to become their supporters or kiss them goodbye. Right now they get the back of their hand from many of them.
The Catholic vote is not going anywhere, it is returning to it’s historical place, a permanently democratic vote.
I'd say there is an apparent reason, and it's glaringly apparent concerning millions who are chronically on our various welfare programs. Do these great 'experts' and 'analysts' ever ask: what value do some people put on having almost unlimited free time, less money and material things, but all their time to themselves?
Of course, it would be extremely Un-PC for politicians and other prominent figures to acknowledge that, no, they are all hardworking folks just down on their luck, and would jump at the first job opportunity to come their way.
Everyone puts a value on their free time, and I think we have many who want as much as possible, even if they live a less financially affluent life.
“About 650 Catholic World War II and Korean War veterans die every day. That translates into 950,000 in the last four years. Add spouses and the number may easily have hit 2 million...”
Someone is either quite bad at math, or there are quite a few 90 year old polygamous Catholics.
I’ll vote for writers being bad at math.
They’re too many cowards and commies in the Church today.
The reason why the Catholic vote is disappearing from the states mentioned is because over the last 20 to 30 years they have moved out of state and are now making up the blue majority in other states.
there’s a lot more to this subject. Read his bio to consider where he is coming from. Philisophically, Catholics are with the Dems on spreading the wealth to less fortunate, and are not on board with tough love. GOP does not get that point across. I don’t know what this guy’s point is about, or why he wrote it.
Apologies for the double post.
It seems most Catholics in the USA are a joke. They are nothing more than Kennedy Catholics and don’t really believe in their nominal religion at all. Makes this convert who was convicted intellectually of the truths of the Catholic faith a bit cross that cradle Catholics just don’t give a hoot, and are Democratic Obama-, abortion- and same sex marriage- believers first and Catholics a distant second if that.
Hang in there, Unam
I,too, am a convert.
I encourage you to believe that, in spite of what seems so discouraging in statistics and reports from various sources, there are actually good things going on that are not yet fully manifested-—the yeast in the dough is quietly beginning to rise. The number of men entering the seminary is increasing. Some of the special, new congregations of religious sisters are growing so fast that they are facing some problems with housing. In my deanery, the five parishes have active Catholic schools, scripture study groups, and are able to have enough volunteers to maintain 24-hour Adoration chapels. Daily Masses—morning and evening-—in the 5 deanery parishes are well attended...at least 100 or more at each one.
I’m telling you the truth about where I live.
The Church has always gone through cycles of ebb and flow and I want to encourage you to believe that we may seeing a new springtime in the Church. Our numbers may be smaller (those darn statistics again), but the depth of faith and commitment will be strong.
Stay with us as it all unfolds and be a part of it. :-)
650 * 365 * 4 = 949000. You could throw in another 650 for leap year.
Now yes, some are single, and there might be some couples that both served.
Or do you think the number is not right?
16 million in WWII, 5.7 million in Korea. Some have already passed. Some served in both wars.
The same could be said for the Disappearing White Protestant Voter, but it’s not as identifiable. Not all the white yutes voting for Obama came from Catholicism.
8 out of 10 white Protestants voted for Romney...95% of black Protestants voted for Obama...
6 out of 10 White Catholics voted for Romney...75% of Mexican Catholics voted for Obama...
So Catholics voted for Obama?
Catholics are the largest denomination, and Southern Baptists are the second largest, I know that in 2008, the Southern Baptist denomination voted 80% republican, and the Catholic denomination voted 54% for Obama.
I hope you’re right. I know the Pope is taking measures to build for the long term, and that sadly we may need to go through a period where the Church becomes smaller but more faithful.
The subset of white male Catholics that dropped out of the work force are probably those looking for government work, but it isn’t for no reason - it is practically illegal to hire them.
Yes, the Church bears a lot of the responsibility for this. They distracted Catholic voters with issues like “social justice”, but those voters became very comfortable with picking & choosing and now can’t even be expected to attend Mass. Now the only people attending Mass are those orthodox Catholics that want to save their souls from Hell and women who think they’ll be the pastor someday...
The Catholic Church showed that it is safe for politicians to abuse the Church with NO repercussions; this doesn’t bode well for the future of the Church.
“Lets not forget that Catholics started the French revolution with all its anti-Catholic violence. The same is true for the Spanish civil war during which many thousands of priests and nuns were slaughtered by Catholics.”
You need to study these events more carefully; both of them were persecutions of the Church that resulted in many martyrdoms. The revolutionaries in both had the elimination of the Church as a stated goal, and the reactionary forces to both were what restored the Church to some legitimacy (though it never really recovered in France). In Spain a large number of the “International Brigades” weren’t even Christian by birth, and the pilots and commissars sent by Stalin certainly weren’t; thankfully in the end Hitler & Mussolini stepped in to support people’s right to worship and own private property, and Franco was able to set thing right - and keep them “right” until his death in 1975.
To this day Americans that don’t know the history of the Spanish Civil War can’t understand why so many Europeans supported Hitler; they don’t understand that it was a choice between Hitler & Stalin, and they’d seen what Stalin had done in Spain (while they couldn’t foresee what Hitler would do beyond the military aid - Franco kept power to himself, and refused to become an Axis satellite).
..”They don’t go to church...” There is a block of “Catholics” in the North East - Boston, Connecticut, Upstate New York (Hubbard and former Clark dioceses) where even the majority of Catholics who go to church cheerfully voted for Obama - having misguidedly been led to believe that “social justice” in the form of government welfare practices justifies voting for the democrat and trumps the killing of the unborn. My in laws are DAILY mass goers, live in Ct., and pulled the lever for Obama twice!! They are not alone in their “Catholic” peer group, either.
I hope (and pray) you are right in your confidence that faith filled Catholics overwhelmingly voted for Romney elsewhere in the country.
Sorry for the rant, clearly this subject upsets me (I am Catholic) - Faith filled Catholics should have overwhelmingly voted for Romney, and it’s a failure in leadership from the liberal Bishop hierarchy to have properly informed their flocks that one must never vote for abortion.
“...most Catholics in the USA are a joke ...” see my post #31 ... It is discouraging!
“...most Catholics in the USA are a joke ...” see my post #31 ... It is discouraging!
sorry for the double post
“Romney lost all the Rust Belt states with large Catholic populations...”
According to NBCnews (uses edison polling), Obama lost the Catholic vote in OH, Pa, Mich., Fla, NY, Ct, Ia, NH, NJ, NC, Va, and Wisconsin.
Does anyone else find anything that looks different? I’d like to know where this guy got some of that stuff, in the first article he said he used edison as well.
FReegards, thanks for all the pings on FR
If you take Baptists as a whole, you'll see a much less % who voted for the GOP
however, 80% -- congratulations. It should have been 100% in your denomination just as it should have been 100% in The Church. 50% didn't vote for Obama this time around -- and that includes all the Catholic freepers here on FR
The fact that we didn't convince 50% of our fellow Christians and you didn't convince 20% of your denomination to vote GOP means that we all need to work hard -- you in your denomination, Lutherans etc. in theirs and Catholics in the Church
Why, I think even Mormons only 80% voted for the GOP -- I thought that was a shoo-in for 100%
you are correct. It is wrong to lump various non-Catholic groups together. I refuse to use the “P” word as it lumps in groups who do not even agree on fundamentals — it is much easier to address Lutherans who believe in the True Presence in the Eucharist, separately from Presbyterians who don’t and both of these separately from Baptists who disagree with them on the efficacy of baptism and all three of these separately from Oneness Pentecostals who do not agree on the Triune nature ofthe Godhead.
I’m not a Southern Baptist.
The Southern Baptist denomination, second only to the Catholic denomination, are 80% pro-life, republican voters, the Catholics are a pretty dependable pro-abortion voting democrat voting block.
We are importing millions of Catholics and we need to break the connection between Catholics and the democrat party, if America is going to survive.
They count Catholics, Catholics counted as such by the Catholic church.
I understand fully well what you’re talking about but you forgot to mention the many American volunteers who fought on the communist side in Spain. No American volunteers on the opposing side as far as I know.
And talking about persecution of the Church — don’t think it can’t happen in the US. How many American “Catholics” voted for Obama whose government may just start to question the Church’s rights here at home. And should a persecution ensue, we can thank these American catholic voters for making it happen.
“you forgot to mention the many American volunteers who fought on the communist side in Spain. No American volunteers on the opposing side as far as I know.”
I did mention the American volunteers; a large number of them were Bolsheviks who weren’t even born Christian. Franco’s side had volunteers from Ireland, who described their fighting as “faith in action”.
As for Obama persecuting the Church, that has already started with ObamaCare (besides the regular, daily run-of-the-mill attacks on Christianity by our leftist media). In my state (NJ), the government is successfully eliminating the Church from healthcare (by requiring treatment for uninsured, then reducing reimbursement for such required treatments) and education (by imposing such high education taxes for the public schools that private education is available to a small number of wealthy people). My diocese has already gotten out of the hospital business, and is steadily withdrawing from the education business (several schools closing annually).
I have no misconceptions about where faith stands with the leftists and their puppet Obama.
“The Catholic vote is not going anywhere, it is returning to its historical place, a permanently democratic vote”
BS! Years ago Catholics voted overwhelmingly for democrats because ABORTION WAS NOT AN ISSUE. Sodomite “marriage” didn’t exist. All Catholics were pro-life back then. Democrats were as much pro-life as republicans. JFK was pro-life, LBJ was pro-life, Jimmy Carter was pro-life. The list goes on.
Church-going Catholics vote for the pro-life candidate. Heathens that never go to church, but still call themselves “Catholic” vote for the pagan candidate. This is repeated in all faiths. Makes no difference if you are Catholic, Protestant, Muslim, Lutheran. If you take your faith seriously you don’t vote for some heathen that believes in killing children and sodomite “marriage”. It’s time that the Roman Catholic Church put a copyright on the word Catholic. If not, these heathens will continue to embarrass REAL CATHOLICS, and the liberal media will continue to try and classify them as normal Catholic voters. The media hates anything to do with Christianity.
The Catholic vote is not going anywhere, it is returning to its historical place, a permanently democratic vote.
1972, 1980, 1984, 1988, 2004, the times when Catholics broke away from the democrat party.
You need to worry about those 30 or so million black evangelicals that voted for brother Obummer. That’s not about to change. The most reliable pro-death voting block in the country is black evangelicals, most of them being Southern Baptists.
No one can explain blacks, not even in voting, it appears that Catholic, and Protestant, and atheist, and Jewish, and Muslim blacks all vote the same.
Hispanics are a different story, we all know how Hispanics who are members of the Catholic church, and Hispanic atheists vote, but Hispanics who are Christians, but do not belong to the Catholic denomination, are in play, in fact in 2004, they voted republican by 56%, and in 2008, 48% republican, we have a chance of winning them to pro-life, republican voting.
Like I told you before, the 59% of white Catholics that voted for Romney make up more votes than 100% of the second largest Christian demonination, the Southern Baptists, that voted for Romney. Anyone that calls themselves Catholic and votes for pro-abortion candidates have forfeited the right to call themselves Catholic and should not be counted as such. The Catholic, UNLIKE protestant churches, does not let you pick and choose what moral issues you will follow. You can not be a Catholic and vote for pro-death politicians. It’s as simple as that. This is something the liberal media (who hates the Catholic Church) will never tell anyone when discussing how much of the “catholic” vote the pro-death Obama got. All this is contained in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The Catholic Church has rules to live by if you want to be considered a Catholic. No other Christian faith does. It’s all left up the individual. In these faiths doctrine is set by a show hands. Doctrine in the Catholic Church is determined by the Word of God. There is no black and white. Only truth, and the truth is not subjective.
Yeah, for the first and only time in history, the white people that belong to the Catholic denomination, voted that high for the pro-life republican, but so what?
Unfortunately, the Catholic denomination is a denomination, not a race, all Catholics are members of the same denomination, a denomination that has almost always been loyal to the democrats, and still are, and forever will be.