Catholics and the Polls

Keith Riler
Gallup's latest and last presidential poll is out. It indicates a 1 point Romney advantage in the popular vote. It can be found here.

As I was reading it, one item surprised me. In this latest survey, Catholics indicated a 52-45 preference for Obama.

Back in 2008 [actual voting] Catholics favored Obama over McCain 54-45. Interestingly, at the time Pew, breaking down that ratio in regard to ethnicity, showed that the numbers flipped for white Catholics 47-52 in favor of McCain. Therefore, in 2008, Obama's advantage was focused on nonwhite Catholics. Although even 47% of white Catholic support is surprising given the Bishops' longstanding and clear message about the right to life and Barack Obama's love affair with abortion.

A few thoughts:

• Is it possible that Obama's attack on life, conscience, and religious freedom, and the subsequent response from the Bishops, could only have cost Obama 2% with US Catholics (2012 versus 2008)?

o If so, what changes in catechetical instruction must be made so that Catholics might know their religion? What more must faithful Catholics do to effect the conversion of their neighbors?

o If not, might Gallup's estimate of Catholic support for Obama be an overstatement, and might the Romney win be bigger than the Gallup numbers indicate, specifically as a result of Obama's attack on the faith and the Bishops' response?

• Is the liberal appeal to racial differences so strong that even Catholics prioritize race over faith, over life, and over dogmatic guidance?

o If so, how might the Church overcome these false differences with a more compelling appeal to love and self-sacrifice? How might lay faithful do the same?

It is joyful to report that the ultimate battle is (almost) won, but if Gallup is right about US Catholics, there's a lot of work to do. We are told to make disciples of all nations -- we don't need to go far.

Gallup's latest and last presidential poll is out. It indicates a 1 point Romney advantage in the popular vote. It can be found here.

As I was reading it, one item surprised me. In this latest survey, Catholics indicated a 52-45 preference for Obama.

Back in 2008 [actual voting] Catholics favored Obama over McCain 54-45. Interestingly, at the time Pew, breaking down that ratio in regard to ethnicity, showed that the numbers flipped for white Catholics 47-52 in favor of McCain. Therefore, in 2008, Obama's advantage was focused on nonwhite Catholics. Although even 47% of white Catholic support is surprising given the Bishops' longstanding and clear message about the right to life and Barack Obama's love affair with abortion.

A few thoughts:

• Is it possible that Obama's attack on life, conscience, and religious freedom, and the subsequent response from the Bishops, could only have cost Obama 2% with US Catholics (2012 versus 2008)?

o If so, what changes in catechetical instruction must be made so that Catholics might know their religion? What more must faithful Catholics do to effect the conversion of their neighbors?

o If not, might Gallup's estimate of Catholic support for Obama be an overstatement, and might the Romney win be bigger than the Gallup numbers indicate, specifically as a result of Obama's attack on the faith and the Bishops' response?

• Is the liberal appeal to racial differences so strong that even Catholics prioritize race over faith, over life, and over dogmatic guidance?

o If so, how might the Church overcome these false differences with a more compelling appeal to love and self-sacrifice? How might lay faithful do the same?

It is joyful to report that the ultimate battle is (almost) won, but if Gallup is right about US Catholics, there's a lot of work to do. We are told to make disciples of all nations -- we don't need to go far.