Despite the clear efforts by the Catholic Church to get Republicans elected to office with this fake campaign to accuse Obama of destroying the church’s religious freedom, the polls are showing that President Obama is likely to get a majority of the Catholic vote in November.
The latest Pew poll, though, shows Obama bouncing back from a decline in support among Catholic voters. As Daniel Burke at Religion News Service notes, in June, the same poll found Obama barely leading Mitt Romney among Catholic voters, 49-47%. But in September, he’s pulled ahead, and now leads Romney among Catholic voters 54-39%. Pew’s comparison with 2008 exit polls showed that Obama’s current standing among Catholics is identical to the percentage of Catholics who voted for him in 2008. But Romney is behind where John McCain fared among Catholics—despite picking a Catholic running mate and taking the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ position on the contraception coverage and same-sex marriage. McCain got 45% of the Catholic vote, but Romney’s only drawing 39% among registered voters. The data—which is, should be noted, from registered, not likely voters—raises questions about whether Catholic voters were swayed by the Bishops’ “Fortnight for Freedom” or by any of the bishops’ worst rhetoric, such as that of the Archbishop of Springfield, Illinois, Thomas John Paprocki, who, as Right Wing Watch reported, said that Democrats support “intrinsic evil” and anyone voting for such a candidate puts their “soul in serious jeopardy.”
I think it just shows, yet again, how much the views of actual Catholics differ from the dogmas preached by the church leadership. Just as the vast majority of Catholics use birth control and don’t believe in literal transubstantiation, no matter how stridently their priests and bishops rail about such issues, they also don’t follow the church’s clear political positions.
Like Dispatches on Facebook: