Waking up to the New Catholic Vote

Liberals are reading the same exit polls as we are, and it’s safe to say it has them spooked.

Deal Hudson writes about the new emerging Catholic Vote:

Pushed, in part, by concern about the health care bill, Catholic voters across the nation returned to the GOP in numbers resembling the presidential victory of George W. Bush in 2004. CNN exit polls record 55 percent of Catholics voted for the GOP while AP polling showed a whopping 58 percent, a twenty point increase since 2008. Either way, the 2008 Catholic support for Obama has completely reversed itself, perhaps with a vengeance.

In all, over 17 pro-life Catholics will be added to the Congress, while roughly 26 pro-abortion Catholics will be departing.

George Marlin adds in “Catholics and the Mid-Terms“:

This switch had a major impact on elections in the key swing states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Two years ago, a large percentage of pro-life, GOP-voting Catholics in these economically troubled rust-belt states were AWOL on Election Day. They stayed home then because they could not, in good conscience, vote for pro-abortion Obama, but they were uninspired by McCain’s anemic economic vision.

But this year Catholics came out in force and provided the votes needed to defeat one Congressional Democratic incumbent in Indiana, and four each in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Flipping these closely-contested seats was the sine qua non of the GOP master plan to retake the House, and Catholics provided the margins of victory.

It doesn’t help that Democrats appeared to have given up Catholic outreach this year:

Among the many reasons Democrats are giving for why so many lost faith in them at the polls on Tuesday, some are blaming the party for losing faith itself – for neglecting religious outreach and messaging in the run up to Election Day.

“It’s been a real challenge organizing at the level of what was done in the last couple of cycles in faith constituencies because of a smaller staff and a small overall commitment,” from the Democratic Party, said Burns Strider, who was hired by the party to help with faith outreach this year. [Dan Gilgoff at CNN's Belief Blog]

Liberal Catholics, meanwhile, continue to scratch their heads over what went wrong, as this Religion News Service article (pointed out by Brian Saint-Paul at Inside Catholic) illustrates:

Independent liberal groups such as Catholics United battled for several Democratic candidates through radio ads, phone banks, and legal maneuvers. In those campaigns, the Democrats, all Catholics, were blasted by conservatives because they voted for health care reform over the U.S. bishops’ objections. The candidates — Reps. Tom Perriello of Virginia, Kathy Dahlkemper of Pennsylvania, and Steve Driehaus of Ohio — all lost close races on Tuesday.

“Those are folks who are really committed to the common good, with a strong sense of Catholic social teaching,” said Sister Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK, a national Catholic social justice lobby. “But they really got lost in whatever this fear is that is gripping our country.”

… “Whatever this fear is?”

To paraphrase a common saying: “It’s not fear – it’s the faith, stupid.”

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6 thoughts on “Waking up to the New Catholic Vote

  1. Don L says:

    Sigh! I live in Connecticut where most Catholics aren’t….

    Is suspect that Saint Pelosi is their spiritual leader.

  2. aswindbehaves says:

    It is absurd, and an embarrassment to the Holy Father, to imply that authentic Catholicism finds its fulfilment in the Republican Party. Republican victories are not Catholic victories. Lest we too quickly forget, BXVI has vocally opposed many of the policies that republicans support.

    Yes abortion is a grave injustice, but so is the lack of health care for the most needy, the many unjust wars waged by the United States in its short history, the continued use of death penalty, the global alienation whose source is none other than global capitalism, the frequent violence against ordinary citizens by mass killers, the violence of pornography, et al.

    The violence of abortion is one part of the violent fabric of America, finding its manifestations in many forms. You cannot just pick and choose which injustice you hate the most and make it your reason for not only voting for, but even celebrating the very people who support other forms of gravely unjust violence. That’s the problem with America and why Catholics will always be wont to find their prayers for a more just world fulfilled in the American two-party system.

  3. vmznning says:

    NETWORK- A catholyc social justice group- meaning aging sisters of the alternative magisterium andfd their unemployed or retired fellow travellers who support barak hussein obama, his abortionist health care bill and higher taxes to achieve-what else-social justice. But only for some.

  4. JohnE says:

    I like the POPE graphic :)

  5. Tom says:

    The day Democrats start competing with Republicans on how better prevent abortions and protect unborn children, they may start winning elections again. If they really have “bleeding hearts”, why isn’t it bleeding for the most innocent humans? Why discriminate against the smallest and most vulnerable human beings? There are plenty “liberal” arguments that can be used to send a strong pro-life message.
    Some examples:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ID7o5L3CaRU
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mq-ZGktYWWA

  6. le pelerin says:

    I wish I could believe the Catholic vote this time around was contiously voting pro-life but I think they were rejecting the handling of the economy. I think once everyone’s back to work, the Catholic vote will sadly match the mainstream vote.

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