Catholics also don’t necessarily all agree on every issue. There are plenty of pro-choice Catholic voters, just as there are orthodox Catholics who agree with the pope on everything.
But what Catholic voters don’t like is the idea of the federal government attacking the church for being what it is.
That last line is the money quote: Catholics don’t like being attacked for simply being Catholic.
That’s what the Obama administration has been doing when it, for instance, mandates Catholic hospitals to cover contraception [help CatholicVote oppose this], or when the (Obama-stacked) National Labor Relations Board decides that St. Xavier –a Catholic university– is not Catholic enough, and that it can force the university to accept labor unions.
These two issues are only the tip of the iceberg. I’ve chronicled in the past years numerous other instances where Obama has made it difficult for the Catholic Church to pursue her mission: on conscience rights, on protecting the unborn, on preserving and promoting the institution of marriage, on religious liberty — you name it. But don’t just take my word, read what Feehery writes.
In fact, there’s good evidence to suggest that Obama has already lost the Catholic Vote. The question is whether he can possibly get it back. It’s critical that he does — because, as Feehery and others point out, if you lose the Catholic vote in the presidential election, you lose. Period.
Here’s why Obama has probably already lost the Catholic Vote — or why it is at least up for grabs. Exit polling from the last national elections in 2010 show, depending on which polls you consult, anywhere from a 24-point to an 18-point Catholic swing from supporting Democrats to supporting Republicans. The Associated Press claimed Catholics supported the GOP by 58%, CNN said it was 55%, and a CNN exit poll pegged Catholic support of the GOP in 2010 at 53%.
Bush beat Kerry in 2004 with only 52% of the Catholic Vote. Which means that whatever poll you consult, Obama was already at least 6 points behind Bush’s 2004 winning-level of support in 2010, and Obama’s poll numbers have only decreased since then.
Here’s the caveat: lots of Democrats didn’t go out and vote in 2010, and off-year elections are always tougher on the incumbent party in power (in 2010 that was the Democrats). Additionally, Democrats largely neglected Catholic outreach in the 2010 elections. So 2012 will be more of an uphill climb because we can count on Democrats to have learned their lesson about not courting Catholics. But the prognosis remains favorable if the current trends hold.
That’s why we’ll need all hands on deck to keep Catholics in the column of the candidate and party that best represents Catholic social teaching on foundational issues as life, marriage, family, subsidiarity, and religious freedom in 2012.
Please visit CatholicVote’s homepage to see how you can immediately help.
And continue to prepare for the good fight ahead.