Catholic Vote? What Catholic Vote?

When are the pollsters and pundits and duuhh journalists going to stop talking about ‘the Catholic Vote’? Every poll shows that the ‘Catholic Vote’ is split right down the middle just like the rest of the country.

It seems to me that the Catholics therefore are indistinguishable from the rest of the population. Read More.


  • The_Archer_of_the_Forest

    I am always befuddled by that as well. That’s like saying, the “American vote” or the “plumber” vote. It’s really nonsense to lump them all together.

  • JamesR

    I read somewhere recently that some study or studies have shown that in recent elections (not sure if all elections or just national) the more conservative (typically Republican) candidate usually gets a majority of Catholic voters from among those who attend Mass regularly; and the Democratic candidate typically wins a majority of Catholic votes from the irregular or non-Mass attending Catholics. I don’t know if it is true or not.

  • Papabile

    @ JamesR

    It’s definitely true. The research here was pioneered by QEV Analytics in the 2000 cycle for Bush 43.
    If the “Catholic Vote” is important, it will likely only make the difference in base turnout among the 7-9 counties that are likely to decide a close election. Otherwise, it’s irrelevant as a data factor in electoral college turnout.

  • FWKen

    Terry Mattingly has a helpful taxonomy of “the Catholic vote”.

  • Faith

    No candidate truly represents the orthodox Catholic take on issues. Some may claim to be prolife (Republicans) but you can’t count on it. Some who seem to be very Catholic still do stuff like support torture (like Santorum). So you can’t really vote Catholic if you want to vote. You have to vote for the candidate you think is least likely to screw things up further. Catholic Obama supporters I know simply don’t register issues that are too knotty for them, like abortion (Republicans don’t deliver too well on the prolife thing anyway). Instead they vote on things like affordable healthcare or job protection. The Catholics I know who vote Republican are very impassioned about abortion or the HHS mandate. And both sides are equally convinced at just how wrong the other side is.

  • SteveD

    There is one thing that singles Obama out as ‘beyond the pale’ even for ‘nominal’ Christians. In the Illinois senate he voted against a measure to outlaw ‘partial birth abortion’ which is a practice that is odious even to many who are ‘pro-choice’ . (For anyone who doesn’t know what this means – let me explain – while the baby has been partially delivered, so that the doctor can access the baby’s head, he/she inserts a pair of scissors into the head and opens the scissors, he/she then withdraws the scissors and inserts a suction tube to remove the baby’s brain = Murder.)