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Catholic vote to Bush

Barna Research Group reports that there has been a seismic shift of 22 points among likely Catholic voters to Bush in the last four months. Also note that Bush has lost votes among Protestants. (Also see this story on the survey).

"One of the big stories of the campaign is the seismic shift in preference among Catholic voters. Almost one out of every four likely voters (23%) is Catholic. In May, John Kerry held a small lead over President Bush, 48% to 43%. In the ensuing four months, however, a myriad of events have stimulated a reversal among Catholics. Currently, President Bush holds a commanding 53% to 36% lead over the Massachusetts Senator among Catholics who are likely to vote. That represents a 22-point shift in preference in just four months." But also note this:

"Equally surprising, among Protestants who are likely to vote in November, President Bush has seen his 24-point lead over the challenger cut in half at the same time that his fortunes have reversed among Catholics. Since May, Mr. Kerry has picked up a small degree of support among Protestants (from 35% up to 38%) while President Bush has lost significant ground among Protestants (dropping from 59% to 50%). In total, that’s a 12-point drop in support for the President."

Discussions - 3 Comments

It would be helpful to know which Protestants are being surveyed, there being a big difference between liberal ("mainline") congregations and (usually) Evangelical or fundamentalist ones. It is hard for me to believe that the latter’s support for Bush has dropped off.

I for one am not surprised by these numbers for Catholics. Kerry’s support of gay unions & the Democratic support for gay marriage, his support for abortion even though he admitted that human life begins at conception, and support for stem-cell research has given even American Catholics reason to pause, especially in the light of the president’s firm opposition to these things. Moreover, Kerry has proven himself to be a dispicable Catholic, ignoring a Eucharist ban on politicians who support abortion. Whatever you think of these issues, many Catholics are angry with Kerry and support Bush. The president’s stance on gay marriage is also making inroads to the black vote, with many evangelicals supporting Bush. Bush’s spirituality is relatively open and people respect him for that, whereas Kerry’s spirituality is a campaign strategy to "talk about God." The cultural issues are more important than many realize with the monolithic focus on Iraq, or even the economy for that matter. Many people think moral issues trump the others. There might even be a mini religious revival after September 11th and recently with the support of "The Passion" despite the NY Times vitriol, the revulsion at Janet Jackson & the Super Bowl family hour, and gay marriage. Christians of all stripes are uniting on these issues against the common enemy of secularism/relativism.

I agree with Mr. Williams’ assessment and would only add that, as a newly minted Catholic (I was received into the Church last Easter), and one who is open to voting for someone other than Mr. Bush, I and many others cringe at the thought of having to live through 4 years of Mr. Kerry ignoring the clear teachings of Jesus Christ and the ensuing volumes of media analyses when the Bishops and other Catholics responded. One friend of mine, a fellow Case student, said that his first priority in this election was "to protect the Catholic Church from John Kerry." However, I would still hope for the admittedly unlikely event that Mr. Kerry had a profound conversion and reconciled with Christ and His Church, which would be a truly powerful sign of the grace of Our Lord. Hope is one of the three things that last, and stranger things have happened, like a Jewish carpenter rising from the dead. A deepening of Mr. Bush’s already obvious conversion (especially as it regards war and peace and the care of the poor) would also be grand, but one hope at a time.

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