Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Polling the races

This Pew poll is already a few days old, but it offers some interesting results, especially on the Republican side. Evangelicals are more divided than Catholics. Among the former, it’s Huckabee 28, McCain 21, Thompson 16, with Romney (8) trailing even Giuliani (12). Giuliani might be accused of playing identity politics with Catholics, who support him 31-17 over second-place Huckabee, with McCain (15), Romney (8), and Thompson (5) bringing up the rear.

Two points are noteworthy here. Romney does equally poorly with evangelicals and Catholics; anyone want to accuse the latter of religious bigotry? And then there’s Giuliani’s success with Catholics, where he does better than Huckabee does with evangelicals. Considering that Giuliani’s Catholic identity is "cultural," rather than religious, what does this tell us about his Catholic base? Are they all cultural Catholics, parting company with the Church where he does? Or are there some who still haven’t gotten the message about his heterodoxy? Or--heaven forfend!--perhaps religion informs without determining their voting preferences.

On other matters, note the national Rasmussen surge for McCain. We’ll have to watch whether Iowa gives Huckabee a Huckabounce (today’s numbers aren’t up yet). Here are the Rasmussen reports on N.H. Republicans (McCain over Romney with Paul and Huckabee far behind) and N.H. Democrats (Obama by 10 over Clinton). Now there’s a bounce!

Discussions - 2 Comments

Part of the appeal of a Giuliani nomination is that he will be able to appeal to Italians in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the Empire State. There's nothing wrong with playing identity politics. It's no big thing.

The reason that Catholics who zero in on Romney's Mormonism get a pass, while Evangelicals and Fundamentalist Christians get hammered with the bigotry card, is that it's easier for the establishment to use the conventional stereotypes about Evangelicals and Fundamentalist. And that stereotype, that caricature is that they're all brain dead, Bible quoting yahoos. They're hitting them because they can do so and get away with it. And the wider media is repeating and amplifying their attacks. It's just another case of the Republican leadership and establishment ripping and tearing into their base, in a brain dead frenzy, which only inures to the advantage of Democrats.

Huckabee seemed off his game tonight. The attacks, the hammerings, the salvos, the broadsides, the barrage, it's all beginning to take a toll on that poor man. The establishment has their knives out for Huckabee, and they're burying them as deep as those knives long ago were buried in Caesar, when he fell before the statue of Pompey.

The more the establishment lines up behind Romney and the lengths to which they will go in prostituting themselves for him, the more convinced I am that he'd be an absolute disaster in The White House, perhaps worse than Bush's 2d term, which is saying something.

Are they all cultural Catholics, parting company with the Church where he does? Or are there some who still haven’t gotten the message about his heterodoxy?

Did the poll in question differentiate between baptized Catholics who attend Mass weekly and those who do not?


Or--heaven forfend!--perhaps religion informs without determining their voting preferences.

Barring some acute political crisis (e.g. Germany, 1933), the faithful and informed Catholic will either abstain or confine his choices to those who are correct on certain fundamentals. The Republican field being what it is, knowledgeble Catholics whose voting behavior is informed by the Church's social teaching ought not cast one ballot for Mr. Giuliani.

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