Poll: Catholics still favoring Obama in election

Somehow, this doesn’t surprise me:

With many American Catholic leaders blaming the current administration for a new requirement that Catholic employers provide birth control coverage, you’d think that President Barack Obama wouldn’t exactly be their favorite person right now.

Still, a survey conducted this week has the president beating Republican hopefuls Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich among Catholic voters in the 2012 race.

According to the Public Religion Research Institute, Obama gets 48 percent of the Catholic votes to Romney’s 40 percent and 56 percent of the Catholic vote to Gingrich’s 32 percent.

PRRI also noted that about half of Catholic voters also voice concern about the wealth gap in America and the state of the country’s poor, an issue that was the subject of a Romney gaffe Wednesday, when he told CNN he was “not concerned about the very poor.”

A majority of American Catholics went Democrat and voted for Obama in 2008 , the Pew Forum found, but had sided with Republican candidates and split down the middle in previous presidential elections.


  1. Elizabeth Scalia says:

    Well, it’s not surprising. Unless Catholics are online or in church, they’re not HEARING about the Obama/HHS assault. The press is not covering it, b/c they know it doesn’t help him, once ppl understand it.


  2. But news coverage is starting, and this AP article is basically accurate abotu how this is spreading beyond “the Catholic vote”–whatever that is:

    What I wonder: is there a “I’m not voting option” on this poll? At this point, I simply can’t vote for Romney. I’m not sure I could vote for Gingrich but I think he is a better Republican candidate. I always want to vote Democratic and they always make it impossible for me to do so on two-three issues….

  3. Why “cant you vote for Romney”? He certainly won’t trample on the consciences of people of faith like the current occupant.
    Don’t worry the news of the HHS ruling is spreading quickly to the people in the pews and not just Catholic pews.

  4. Mark LaVergne says:

    Hi Deacon Greg: Thanks for sharing this. However:
    (1) Elizabeth Scalia is quite right that there is a virtual news blackout on this. I was surprised, for example, to see that there was more coverage (yesterday) of the President’s comments at the National Prayer Breakfast than apparently the issue involving birth control coverage.
    (2) This poll may be something of an “outlier.” I read the link and I see their overall matchup has Obama-Romney at 48-37. However, both Gallup Daily Tracking and Rasmussen have Obama ahead by only a point or two. The difference may have to do with sampling and also the common difference in results you see between surveying registered voters versus likely voters.
    (3) Finally, right now this is being cast as a “Catholic” issue only. But the implications are much broader, involving First Amendment protections that affect all citizens, and so the issue needs to be reframed by opponents of the Administration’s decision.
    Deacon, you’re doing a great job. I really enjoy this blog and appreciate the effort you’re putting into it.

  5. It tramples on the conscience of this person of (Catholic) faith to say there’s no reason to be concerned about the poor, as Romney does. My conscience and I both know, because the Judge himself told us, that we will be judged precisely on how well we have demonstrated that concern.

  6. friscoeddie says:

    Churches, Dioceses, Seminaries, everything that a bishop is CEO of and ultimately controls, will be exempt. Does the bishop’s conscience and free exercise extend to entities that he does not control? Pew Catholics will see the difference.. and it’s not WW111

  7. Mark LaVergne says:

    Spare us! Everyone knows – including you – that is not what Romney meant or said. It was a “gotcha” that was taken out of context. If anything, Romney’s statement affirming the “safety net” should reassure Catholics. No different than Clinton in 1992 or Obama in 2008, Romney wants to focus on the middle class, including the working poor.

  8. First that’s not what he said, second the quote is taken out of context and third he apologized for mis-speaking. Get your facts and talking points straight.

  9. The Bishop’s conscience should extend to anything that calls itself Catholic in his diocese.

  10. Mark LaVergne says:

    Your comment doesn’t make sense. If the decision applies to female employees of Catholic agencies, then surely it will apply to female employees of seminaries, dioceses, parishes, etc.

  11. Don’t forget. Bishop Dolan (or should I already call him Cardinal?) has been out of the country. There has not been much put out on the issue from the Church yet. Hopefully that will take place.

  12. Mark LaVergne says:

    And, in any event, if it doesn’t now apply, it is only a matter of time before the Obama administration pushes for that as well.

  13. friscoeddie says:

    Wrong, wrong so read up and get a better answer,

  14. friscoeddie says:

    wow.. the 98% of catholics should all mail their conscience to the bishop.. totalitarian I presume..

  15. Mark LaVergne says:

    Wow, friscoeddie, how do you manage to be so perfect all the time? I’m sure your friends all wish they could be like you.

  16. What are you talking about anyway? 98 per cent of what? 98 percent of Catholics don’t even know what a properly formed conscience is. I think the Bishops do.

  17. After reading Pelosi’s comment from yesterday she should also be excommunicated along with Sebelius. Some crowd BHO has surrounded himself with–not to forget Holder and the “Fast and Furious” scandal. Another 4 years of this crowd and yikes.

  18. The Church doesn’t need to excommunicate. They’ve done that to themselves!!! May God have mercy on them…

  19. deacon john m. bresnahan says:

    For those Catholics who don’t like Romney they should remember that most of Mass. leading pro-life voices have defended his pro-life and pro-family record in Ma. That includes former ambassadors to the Vatican Ray Flynn and Mary Ann Glendon.
    The pro-abortion media is using the “flip-flop” argument against Romney because over the years he became more and more pro-life, pro-family.
    But Ted Kennedy went in the opposite direction on those –but there was never a media onslaught against him for his flip flops. In fact, the media line was that politicians like Kennedy(and Clinton and Jackson) who moved to pro-abortion positions had “grown,” had “matured,” had “seen the light.”
    Are we Catholics and pro-lifers going to say we reject politicians who decide to move in our direction?? Some seem to be saying that. So does that mean no politician should ever “see the light” in our direction because we will keep hammering him??? Should we be leading a fight to reject converts like him?????

  20. It’s taken out of context.

    How sad that one would refrain from voting out of a misguided idea that one is to be more concerned about the poor (who already have life) than those preborn whose lives are being snuffed out…and that the government is requiring Catholics to support such.


    It doesn’t mean that the poor are to be neglected. We are are our brother and sister’s keepers…and that includes the poor, the sick, the homebound, the aged, and the preborn as well.

  21. I agree that the word is not getting out as Obama’s lackeys in the Democrat media are covering it up. Still, you can fool some of the people al the time, and that applies to Catholics as well apparently.

  22. They also hammer Romney for having money. Never saw that done to the Kennedys!!

  23. friscoeddie says:

    Why not excommnicake the 5 Catholic supreme court justices if they don’t overturn Roe/wade by next month.. They, not Pelosi/Sebelius have the power.. I’m only kidding and you guys are not. Get set for 4 more years of BHO

  24. While the President made the wrong call on the contraception mandate, he is unlikely to politically suffer much for it. Much of the public mistakenly thinks that the Church is trying to take their birth control away. With even bishops admitting that 95-98% of Catholics use birth control, any threat against contraception is a loser. This is why abortion rights groups always like to steer the conversation to birth control or “women’s reproducitve choices” rather than abortion.

    Yes, there is the higher intellectual issue of religious freedom. Many Protestants might agree with us but few if any are going to change their votes over someone else’s ox being gored.

    Conservative Catholics have always hated Obama (ues, hated. Just spend some time on the internet). Liberal Catholic intellectuals — the type that struggled with how to both protect the unborn and stand with the Church on issues concerning the poor, the rights of workers, racial justice, etc. — have, to their credit, been critical of Obama on this. But they have been so villified by the Catholic Right, I can’t see them ever voting Republican.

  25. Technically, I don’t think they have unless they have directly assisted in an actual abortion.

  26. An article at the Boston Globe website states that Romney promulgated a similar requirement when he was governor of Massachusetts: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/articles/2012/02/03/mitt_romney_caught_in_inconsistency_in_blast_at_barack_obama_for_forcing_catholic_institutions_to_provide_insured_birth_control/

    In that instance, he issued an executive order requiring Catholic institutions to provide emergency contraception to rape victims.

  27. I agree with Kurt. From what I’ve heard in my office, which is split between Protestants and Catholics, this seems to be the case. I know many women who have used Planned Parenthood for health issues when they were college students or unemployed and whether theywere Catholic or not, they didn’t think twice about using Planned Parenthood and still don’t. Many women I know are anti-abortion, but definitely pro-contraception and they looked at this as bullying. As one 60+ Catholic, female coworker caring for a 35+ mentally and physically disabled son said “I used to care about that stuff, but NOW, in my opinion, unless they want to pay my bills, they can just shut up”. Suffice it to say, that it looks to ME like there are many more of them than there are who liked the original decision.
    Kurt is also right, most of the posters on this and other Catholic blogs didn’t vote for the President and won’t vote for the President now.
    Frankly, I haven’t seen a “sane” Republican to vote for.

  28. Name Only, Cafeteria, Only Go To Mass on Easter and Christmas catholics…

  29. They are not Catholics who follow the doctrine, for if they did they would deny this man and proclaim their faith. Let’s get this straigh: Our Savior, JESUS CHRIST, is not a liberal/progessive. He abhors abortion, homosexual marriage, contraceptions, envy, class division, and every thing that Obama and his ilk perpetuate. A true follower of CHRIST can discern this. I think anytime a poll is taken it needs to be qualified whether you are a true follower of the doctrine. It’s one thing to say you are (like Pelosi, Biden and the Kennedy’s) another to truly represent the faith.

  30. I’d vote for a rock rather than Obama. He is not only distroying the country, he is now attacking The Faith.

  31. It was also never done to John Kerry, who during that presidential election, had more money than Romeny. Double-standards are everywhere with the liberals and MSM.

  32. You know Jesus’ political positions on all those things, Joellen? You’re making the right-wing argument that any discussion of class (economic) issues is class warfare — Democrats supposedly reinforce class divisions, the right constantly tells us (though I would argue that Republican policies are more likely to cause class divisions — and gross economic inequality). If you’re going to presume to speak for Jesus on economic policy in American politics, you might want to reread the gospel. Jesus DOES discuss economic injustice and (just a bit of foreshadowing here) it’s not the poor that he comes down on; it’s not those who help the poor that he condemns.

    I’m glad that you are also able to figure out exactly who the “true followers” of Christ are. That way, Jesus won’t have to do that work Himself. He can hand the final judgment off to you.

  33. However, Catholics in the pews, in the main, are not aware of self-incurred latae sentenciae excommunication incurred by the like of Pelosi, Biden and the Kennedy ilk. Perhaps it would make Catholics more aware of properly formed consciences if the USCCB would publicly make a statement regarding the issue. Many Catholics in the pews are woefully ignorant that they cannot support politicians who favor baby kuilling because these politicians are purportedly in favor of the poor and illegal immigrants. That would be analogous to saying in the 30′s in Germany that it would be OK for Catholics to vote for Adolph because he is saving the economy.

  34. No, they don’t incur latae sententiae excommunication. See Dr. Peter’s discussion of this point at http://www.canonlaw.info/2007/05/case-for-applying-canon-1398-to.html .

  35. That’s the beauty of political Jesus. He’s made in your own image. You’ve made yourself according to all the beliefs you know any decent god would hold, and since you fancy yourself his true follower, it only stands to reason that He holds these beliefs as well. His whole reason for being made flesh 2,000 years ago in the Roman Empire was to one day validate the 21st Century Republican agenda. A god who hates gays and Democrats, loves war and waterboarding and speaks comfort to power and wealth. It’s all right there in the pages of the Gospel and self-evident, to any True Follower.

  36. The Church actually gave Adolf’s enterprise its tacit approval in order to protect it’s own interests. It would have been on very thin ice had bishops threatened to excommunicate ordinary citizens from voting National Socialist, in light of that.

  37. Nobody hammers Romney for “having money” but rather over questions of how he made it. He made his money in an industry and business model which largely profits by eliminating jobs or offshoring them.

    The Kennedys made their money in some ugly ways too. Insider trading, probably bootlegging, lots of stuff that was predatory, even if legal. The reason their reputation didn’t take a flogging from that is twofold. One, by the time his kids rose to prominence and really were in a position to break into national politics in a big way, it was (relatively) old money, and some of the taint of how it was made had faded from view. Secondly, they just didn’t have the 24/7 no-holds barred news and blog culture we have today that exposes and leaks everything about a person in days and minutes.

    Kerry never had to face any real controversy about how he made his fortune. He married into it, and it was also old money.

  38. Steve, I notice you reply only to the “economic part of my discussion. Is there a reason you left out the fact that Obama and his CINO cohorts advocate the murdering of life in the womb; the redefining of marraige between man and woman? As for the usual Saul Alinksy tactic of trying to imply anything on my part, not working brother. I dont presume anything. The HOLY SPIRIT has blessed me with certain gifts; widom, discernment and knowledge. As instructed by our Lord, I am to use them. So, no brother Steve, I dont presume, you wont Saul Alinsky me, I stand by what I say. Obama and his ilk are divisive, angry and have an agenda. That agenda does NOT go along with what JESUS promotes. JESUS promotes LIFE and TRUTH. By the way – it is noted how you yourself twist the gospel to suit your agenda, just like Obama did in his “prayer” campaigning.

  39. I’m online and I’m in church and I hear it all – and am disgusted by it.

    However, I also hear what the Republican candidates have to offer and frankly I’m not thrilled by a lot of that either!

    I am a lowly green card holder, I do not yet have my citizenship and therefore do not have the right to vote and though it pains me a little to say it – I’m kind of glad I don’t have to make a choice!

  40. There are a lot of politically left among Catholics. Sadly, I believe most normal Catholics don’t care too much for the moral teaching of the Church. Many find it even an obstacle to their “freedom”. Of course normal people don’t know what freedom is, the freedom they understand is mostly the pro-choice contraception stuff,. the media are too powerful and they are the real power which control the mind of normal people today. Sad but true. People must be geared to produce and buy, and to consume. So the Catholic moral teachings are not welcome by the profit driven society. Btw. what I wrote above is ironically a typical Capitalism critique, funny that the left don’t realize that they are promoting the naked profit-making-machinery.

  41. Don Schenk says:

    Actually, Obama will grant a religious exemption only to organizations which
    1.) inculcate religious values
    2.) only hire persons of the same religion
    3.) only serve people of the same religion
    4.) are non-profit organizations.
    In other words, Obama’s totalitarian regime will shut down Catholic hospitals–while the liberal termites in the Church cheer.

  42. M. Scalia … How do we encourage our priests that we want to hear Orthodox, faithful, LOVING truth not cotton candy Jesus. Yes HE loves all but HE also (present-tense) CHALLENGES us too. We just got a new Archbishop here in Philadelphia so we got that piece covered. I need to know (as a man) how I can bring Christ to my kids. Maybe faithful men need to be meeting together with the priests and discuss how some of us feel. I am weak and fallen and so I need to be built up so that I have what I need to face the upcoming week living my faith for me, my spouse and my kids. For those that get this every week…fall to your knees and thank God for it every day!!

    P.S. I think that if I heard this from the pulpit every week I might not be discouraged or even a coward to act.

  43. Joellen, you are the one — in your post — who claimed that President Obama is spreading class division and envy among Americans and that the economic arguments made by the President and “his ilk” (as you put it) are among the things that Jesus “abhors.” Your words, not mine. If you stand by them, own them. You are indeed presuming to speak on Jesus’ behalf on economic issues. For my part, I asked you to reread the gospels, where Jesus himself speaks on how the rich treat the poor.

    Yes, I know — Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have conditioned conservatives to believe that the name Saul Alinsky represents evil incarnate. You might like to know that William F. Buckley thought Alinsky was incredibly smart and logical, and Dick Armey (that uber-Republcian, of whom I am no fan) hands one of Alinsky’s books out to young Republicans. But throwing Alinsky’s name at me does not negate your charge that Jesus would “abhor” Obama’s discussion of economic inequality. I personally find that notion ludicrous; that’s what I’m saying.

    I’m not going to try to take you on poinit by point when you claim that Obama and other Democrats are “advocating” for “murdering” people — unborn or unborn. I am most definitely pro-life, but your rhetoric is way, way over the top.

  44. Meant to say “unborn or born.” Sorry for the typo.

  45. “You might like to know that William F. Buckley thought Alinsky was incredibly smart and logical”

    Saying someone is smart and logical doesn’t mean you are saying they are right. Jesus said the unjust servant was cunning in saving his own skin but he wasn’t praising him.

    People seem to think that all rich people abuse the poor. Not all wealthy people got rich by abusing others. Who is giving big bucks to charity? The poor are never to be mistreated but handing out entitlements is not helping them get out of poverty.

  46. Steve, Obama and his ILK are PHONIES. They tell us how to live while they live like kings. Just look up their donations and compare it those like Governors Palin & Romney, Newt, Rush, etc. Why you would continue to defend the indefensable is out right evil. That’s right making a judgement, another gift from the HOLY SPIRIT (right judgment in case you didnt know). You might want to read about John the Baptist – he too called a spade a spade and just so you know, our LORD & SAVIOR himself said “there is no man greater than John the Baptist.

    As for Saul Alinksy to try and make him some one to respect – you do know he dedicated his book to Satan. Satan who also thought he was smarter than ABBA Father. Guess not!

    So, as I stated before I’ll state it again – I stand by my comments, judgements and everything else you throw at me. For I do know truth and I am able to discern evil, even in all its shades of gray. GOD bless you and I mean that, for HE is the ONE that truly sets us free.

  47. Uh, no, may of these women I know, go every week and more.

  48. You’re part of the problem.

  49. Isn’t Romney PRO-homosexual marriage? Homosexual marriage is one of the five intrinsic evil voter issues. Santorum would be a much better choice(against all five). Of course, Obama is for all five of the EVIL issues. No Catholic should even try to justify a vote for Obama. It is just SIN. Plain and simple. If you vote for him and don’t see the Evil in your action you are utterly and completely lost. Think for a second…….. If i am right?, and i am right………… Over half of our nations Catholics are on the road to perdition. I believe that includes many of our priest and some of our bishops.

  50. Kathlen Elsie says:

    In the primary I will vote for Santorum as he is my first choice. In the general I will vote for anyone but Obama. The freedom of Holy Mother Church and the ability to preach the truth outweighs any promises of the present administration. All people of the Christian faith communities have the right as written in our Constitution to believe and follow the moral teachings of Christ.
    I just wish that I heard more Roman Catholic priests keep their parishioners informed.

  51. Kathlen Elsie says:

    There are things that we can have a choice of. Like where to live, who to marry, what job to take etc.

    Then there are the non-negotiable issues, of protecting life from conception to natural death, going to Mass (liturgy if you are Eastern Catholic) etc.

    Our local Roman Catholic Parish has over 1000 families yet if we have 150 in any of our three Masses we are having a good day. Our area has a history of voting for the Democrats even now just as their parents and grandparents did.

  52. Wait a moment, Phil. You have declared that some individuals are “lost.” Since you have framed this issue in terms of sin, I assume you mean that our souls are lost.

    Are you not treading on God’s territory there? Is it your job to declare who is doomed to hell, and who is not?

    I voted against George W. Bush for moral reasons (his eagerness to put people to death in Texas; his rush to war — an elective war, a war of choice — in Iraq, where his command resulted in thousands of Iraqi citizens dying in bombing raids). However, I know I am not qualified — not even close — to pronounce Mr. Bush doomed to hell. Nor would I ever presume to announce that the people who voted for him (even those who voted for him specifically because they saw his rush to war as a sign of strength) are “lost” and on the road to perdition.

    I’m a sinner, someone who tries to follow Christ by the light and grace I have been given. I assume the same is true for you. And until God Himself pronounces you lost, I will never, ever say that you are lost or doomed to hell. Not my job to judge you — not within my abilities, either. God bless you.

  53. A sad reflection of the poor catechism that is taught today! If they were REAL ROMAN CATHOLICS, they would be horrified by Obama and his teachings and John Paul ll would be ashamed.

  54. Find a Latin Mass,

  55. Just left mass which included a Bishop’s letter to look at USCCB and state sites. No mention of civil disobedience yet, perhaps premature until Suprement Court (with Kagan not yet recused!) answers. Politics has made strange bedfellows, enough Catholics have uncritically accepted USCCB position in reference to “natural Right of health care insurance” without seeing government creepage until fundamental unconstitutional removal of 1st amendment rights. Go figure! Time to man up.

  56. You can blame it on a lot of things, but NOT poor catechism. There are many who were taught plainly and succinctly what the Church teaches on these issues, they simply either don’t believe what the Church teaches or they don’t care and won’t base their vote on it.
    MY experience these days is that the catechism IS taught very well these days. It may simply be falling on deaf or uncaring ears.

  57. There are Catholics on the Left who have already decided to vote for Obama and ar not changing their mind. There are Catholics on the Right who have already decided to vote Republican and are not changing their mind — some voting Republican based on their prudential judgment and some because they think it would be a sin not to vote against Obama.

    But for those Catholics undecided or leaning one way or another, every time they are told it is a “sin” to vote a certain way or that they wil go to Hell if they vote a certain way, it pushes them in the opposite direction.

    Catholics who are undecided have decided it is not a matter of sin but prudential judgment.

  58. jekyllisland says:

    So your political views trump your religious views – nice to see that Jesus died for something, oh wait I guess he didn’t in your eyes

  59. jekyllisland says:

    Can’t believe that there are still some Catholics out there that will back not only this guy but all democrats because the morally can’t vote Republican.

    I can hear Jesus saying back in the day “well though I will sacrifice my life for you feel free to spit on image in order to appease your political beliefs. Yes my disciples political views MUST come before God at all costs so this is really a non event”.

  60. As I said , Jekyllisland, the reason 54% of Catholics are supporting the President is that a good number of the people in middle are turned off by those Catholics who try to tell them how to vote, under pain of sin.

  61. Which document told Catholics not to vote for Obama under pain of sin? The only document I read was Faithful Citizenship. If Catholics don’t want moral guidance in their lives they should really not call themselves Catholic.

  62. Not the bishops. But a bunch of loud-mouthed lay Catholics with a political agenda passing out flyers in church parking lots. They give the term ‘counter-productive’ a whole new meaning.

  63. No longer the case. With the so called ‘compromise’ this exemption is also gone: now everyone is forced to pay for coverage for it, whether they are a church, university, charity, hospital, etc.

  64. Kenneth, please read up on this more. There was no approval of Hitler, and in fact the Church had denounced it.

  65. Kurt, there’s a post on Fox that the Pres of the Lutheran synod had a letter read at services condemning this as a blow to religious freedom.

  66. What is really sad is that I don’t hear the bishops or priests except for one or two speak out against the two wars we have been invovled in that are not just wars according to Catholic teaching , that is if there is such a thing as just wars.
    John Paul II spoke out against these wars.


  1. [...] this was a knockout punch.The have something else to feel really good about today, as well. As Deacon Greg points out, the latest polls indicated that despite the Obama/HHS assault on religious freedom and conscience, [...]

  2. [...] support for this man sufficient to disqualify one from being in the Body of Christ, or at least the life of Grace?:  ….a survey conducted this week has the president beating [...]

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