Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Catholics Bring New Energy to the Obama Campaign
The growing support of members of the Catholic faith for Barack Obama and Joe Biden is encouraging. According to recent polls, the rise in Catholic support for the Democratic nominee compared to four years ago has moved two states from "red" to "blue."
But the other half of the story is not just votes but the incredible energy and volunteer committment from Catholics. An earlier post wrote of the fantastic efforts of students at Catholic University of America. A large group of students at this previously Republican leaning school are volunteering in Virginia to help elect Obama.
Catholics United, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholic Democrats, Roman Catholics for Obama -Biden '09 and other groups are educating voters as to how Catholic social teaching applies to a range of issues, from war to the safety net for the poor.
Father Thomas Reese recently spoke about how Joe Biden is winning Catholic votes. “Biden is a real Catholic from a working-class background who’s comfortable talking to high-school-educated people. This is the most important swing vote” said Reese.
Obama's success with Catholic voters is shown in that McCain and the Republicans continue to direct their efforts to a narrow and narrower group of Catholics. They have already written off most minority Catholics. Republicans have so forgotten about non-white Catholics that when they speak of their performance with the Catholic vote they are really citing poll results of whites only Catholics.