Stunning NYT Graphic: Catholics showing *34-point* swing to GOP this year?

Following up on Josh’s post, the picture that is worth a thousand words. It shows that Dems were +10 in 2008 and the GOP may now be +24 among Catholics:

Some thoughts:

  • Every poll should be taken with a large grain of salt. Nevertheless, the swing is impressive: Catholics represent the widest switch from Democrat-to-Republican support of any group classified. I’ll be watching the exit polls next week to see if the claims made by this poll are substantiated.
  • Individuals who identify themselves as Catholic tend to generally follow the overall trend of voting, year-by-year, so what we are seeing among Catholics is partially a subset of the widespread national disappointment in Democrats.
  • What I am more interested in seeing is the polling for practicing Catholics, often defined in polls as Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week (as required). This group of active Catholics voted more against than for Obama in 2008.
  • I find it fascinating that more Catholics supported Democrats in the last midterm elections (in 2006) than supported the Democrats + Obama-as-President more recently in 2008. Obama’s “Catholic problem” remains, and there may now be evidence it is getting worse. Much worse.

Of course, in the end, polls don’t matter. Votes do.

UPDATE – Josh called the reporter who wrote the original NYTimes story and published the findings of their polling (along with CBS):

The graphic above only shows the gap between the two parties, not the raw numbers. So I called New York Times reporter Megan Thee-Brennan. She told me the exact two-party support from Catholics in this poll. Among Catholics, she said, 62% said they were voting Republican in the upcoming midterm elections and 38% said they were voting Democratic, a gap of 24 points. She then noted that Barack Obama won the Catholic vote by ten points in 2008, winning it 54 to 44 over McCain.

A swing of 34 points? Holy moly.

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10 thoughts on “Stunning NYT Graphic: Catholics showing *34-point* swing to GOP this year?

  1. Roberta says:

    Good Morning Thomas,
    I just saw you on the program with Raymond O. and I feel compelled to state that you all seem so very biased policitally. There was a gleam in your eyes as if to say “ÿes we are winning”. To me you all seem so hypocritical. Instead of trying to have things “Our way” I suggest that we all encourage each other to “Pray” for God to have his way in all things including the elections. Remember; if the Lord does not want it to be…. it wont be. Encourage spiritual development and give guidnce instead of using Religion and the Church to railroad others into your way of thinking polictically. Let’s pray for “God’s Will” not our to prevail.

    Blessings.
    Roberta.

    p.s. Please share my comment with Raymond O.

  2. [...] American Papist has an interesting article about the NYT’s prediction of the Catholic vote in the coming Mid-Term elections. It would appear that – among the electorate generically defining itself as [...]

  3. [...] poll, they are, indeed, beginning to do exactly that (see Joshua Mercer at CV’s blog and Thomas Peters at American Papist). Tagged as: American Papist, Bart Stupak, Bobby Schilling, Brian Burch, Catholic laity, [...]

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