Skip to comments.The Crucial Catholic Vote: Does It Exist?
Posted on 08/26/2008 11:07:46 AM PDT by Alex Murphy
Is there such a thing as a Catholic vote?
All pundits and political consultants know the Catholic vote is crucial. But does anyone know if it actually exists? And if so, how does it behave?
It is true that since 1960, the party that won the Catholic vote, won the overall popular vote — yet Catholic political views seem to be relatively detached from Catholic Church teachings. Most American Catholics support abortions being legal, contrary to clear church teaching. Most use birth control, contrary to teaching. Most supported the Iraq war, despite warnings from then-Pope John Paul II and later Pope Benedict XVI.
For the most part, Catholics simply switch around like the population as a whole, voting whatever the big issue of the day is — the war, terrorism, the economy, the candidate’s character. There doesn’t seem to be anything all that Catholic about the Catholic vote.
And yet Barack Obama just appointed Joe Biden as his running mate in part to get help winning Catholics. Is he kidding himself that appointing a Catholic will matter? What can move the Catholic vote?
The first thing to understand is that while most Catholics don’t oppose abortion, most Catholics who attend Mass weekly do. John Kerry likely lost the Catholic vote in 2004 for numerous reasons, but it is true that he had to spend much of the campaign fending off attacks from Catholic bishops for being a Bad Catholic, since he’s pro-choice. Sen. Kerry had to be constantly aware that he couldn’t spend Sundays at a church where the priest would refuse him communion. Reporters came to refer to this as The Wafer Watch.
Obama’s Advantage Over Kerry
The church certainly won’t like Sen. Obama’s pro-choice views but they won’t need to spend much time deciding whether to offer him communion. Ironically,
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VERY interesting article. Thanks for posting it! :)
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