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According to the Washington Post, Trump is losing with Catholic voters — big time.
Here’s the breakdown in the Catholic vote between President Obama and Mitt Romney. In 2012, Catholics went for Obama over Romney by about 2 percentage points. It was 50 percent to 48 percent.
And here’s that breakdown now between Hillary Clinton and Trump. According to a recent poll from Public Religion Research Institute, Trump is 23 points behind Clinton among Catholics. That breakdown is 55 percent to 32 percent.
So what happened? The Post reports that it might’ve been Trump’s public feud with the head of the Catholic Church.
Back in February, Trump told off Pope Francis. Good move!
The pope responded: “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges is not Christian.”
“For a religious leader to question a person’s faith is disgraceful,” Trump said.
The Post reports:
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s problems with a few voting groups — female voters, blacks and Hispanics, and young voters, in particular. And, to be sure, they are all problems.
But relatively speaking, his biggest problem actually appears to be with a different group: Catholics.
Yes, the man who once feuded with the pope (how soon we forget that actually happened) is cratering among Catholics….
…It’s also hard to overstate just how significant Trump’s poor performance among Catholics is. That’s because they comprise about one-quarter of voters in the United States (25 percent in 2012 exit polls) and are about as big a voting bloc as non-whites (28 percent) and independents (29 percent).
While we often look at how Trump is doing worse than Romney among Hispanics, we’re really talking about the difference between Trump taking 45 percent of the vote and 46 percent — or maybe 49.5 percent or 50.5 percent. That’s because Hispanics are only about 10 percent of the electorate, and the GOP’s share of that vote is likely to be between 20 and 35 percent or so.
When talking about Catholics, though, Trump is basically adding 5 to 7 percentage points to Clinton’s overall margin. If 25 percent of the electorate is Catholic, Clinton is currently taking 14 to 15 points worth of that chunk, while Trump is taking 8 or 8.5 points. And this is a group, again, that is usually close to tied.
Mormons too seem to hate Trump. Only evangelicals led by Jerry-all-students-must-carry-guns-on-campus-in-case-the-Muslims-come-Falwell, approve of the Republican racist bigot.
As the Religion News Services’s John Gehring recently posited, it could also have something to do with Trump’s immigration policies:
Part of Catholics’ DNA is an appreciation for how Irish and other immigrants toiled and thrived in the shadow of a suspicious, fiercely anti-Catholic culture dominated by white Anglo-Saxon Protestants. …
When Trump calls for a religious test for Muslims entering the country; questions the faith of Hillary Clinton, President Obama and Mitt Romney; and demonizes undocumented immigrants as “rapists,” it’s a reminder of the ugly nativism that Catholics once faced.
While this contemporary strain of old xenophobia is particularly felt by Latinos who increasingly are the face of the Catholic Church in the United States, many white Catholics surely take pride in family stories of grandparents and great-grandparents who were strangers in a new land. Trump has dug himself a deep hole he is unlikely to climb out of with these voters.
Trump’s struggles among Catholics remains one of the really undersold story lines of the 2016 election. And the most ignored story of all is that evangelicals are committing credibility suicide for a generation by supporting a disgusting man who clearly hates God and man in that order: God because Trump denies global warming, thus our care for God’s creation and man, because he is a lying hate-filled bigot.
Yeah for the Roman Catholics!
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Frank Schaeffer is a writer. His latest book —WHY I AM AN ATHEIST WHO BELIEVES IN GOD: How to give love, create beauty and find peace
Please read about my journey through then out of the religious right and Republican Party.