Friday, April 25, 2008

Catholics Expected to Vote Democratic in Fall

Catholics Will Vote Democrat, Catholic Congressman Says
Josiah Ryan

( - Rep. Dale E. Kildee (D-Mich.), a Catholic congressman who endorsed Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) for president, told Cybercast News Service Wednesday that despite Sen. Barack Obama's (D-Ill.) failure to capture Catholic voters in the Pennsylvania primary, the majority of Catholics will vote for the Democratic candidate in the general election whether it's Obama or Clinton.According to the exit poll of the Pennsylvania primary, church-going Democrats picked Clinton over Obama on Tuesday, with Catholic voters especially lining up behind Clinton. Among all Democratic primary voters who said they attend church weekly, Clinton beat Obama 61 percent to 39 percent. Among Catholics who attend church weekly, she beat him 74 percent to 26 percent.This represents a dramatic shift from the Feb. 19 Democratic primary in Wisconsin, where Obama defeated Clinton 58 percent to 41 percent. In that state, Obama defeated Clinton 55 percent to 44 percent among Democratic voters who attend church weekly. Clinton did win in Wisconsin among Catholic voters who attend church weekly, but by a much smaller margin (53 percent) than the 74 percent she took in Pennsylvania. The shift is significant because Catholic Democrats in northern states have been a key swing vote in recent presidential elections. In 2004, President Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) 52 percent to 47 percent among Catholic voters nationwide even though Kerry is a Catholic. In Ohio, widely viewed as the state that tipped the Electoral College to the Republicans, Bush beat Kerry 65 percent to 35 percent among Catholics who attend church weekly."I will vote, come November, for the Democratic candidate, whoever that may be," Kildee told Cybercast News Service. "I predict the majority of Catholics will choose the Democratic ticket come November."The Catholic vote is split," he said. "There is no question about it. There are various issues that split the Catholic vote, but the one thing that does pull it together is what I call the social gospel: treatment of the working people, and treatment of the poor. That tends to pull the Catholic vote together. "Whichever candidate can show they care about these things will garner the Catholic vote," Kildee added.Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), who has also endorsed Clinton, expressed a similar sentiment. "I didn't see any of the numbers," he told Cybercast News Service. "But that shift seems to show the great ability Hillary Clinton has to talk to average folks about their concerns. They came out and voted for her last night."Kildee said he could not speculate on why church-going voters may have shifted their support from Obama to Clinton. "Pennsylvania is an older state. Its political involvement is different than Wisconsin," he said. "When you get to the Midwest, there are probably other issues. It could be an interesting analysis, but it might also take a PhD. It's more analysis then I can give right now." Kildee said he stayed up until midnight Tuesday watching the results come in.


JoJosho said...
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Democritus said...

Thanks for this interesting post. It reads well with E.J. Dionne's piece in the New Republic.

Dionne suggests that the Pennsylvania Catholic vote breaks down along age lines, and Sen. Obama was hurt by being slow to organize for the Catholic vote. Interesting.

Rustler45 said...

Uh oh, we have censorship here.

Liberals hate censorship. At least that's what they say!