The Flock is Flocking to Obama
Recent polling shows that white Catholics are now following minority Catholics in strong support for Obama. Even conservative white Catholics remain in play, while progressive and minority Catholics are firmly and overwhelmingly in the Obama camp.
Since September 7th, Obama’s support has shot up 9 points among white Catholics, now beating McCain 47% to 46% according to a recent ABC News poll. Latino Catholics support Obama over McCain by a 2:1 margin and African American Catholics by better than 10:1. The Wall Street Journal now reports that the electoral battle centers on conservative white Catholics.
To use another measure, the ABC poll also found that the approval rating for Sarah Palin fell more steeply with white Catholics than any other group.
Catholic support for Obama is also seen locally, be it a high-energy meeting of the Parma (Ohio) Catholics for Obama or the movement of New Mexico from a “battleground” to “leaning Obama” state almost entirely due to increased Catholic support for Obama-Biden.
The Wall Street Journal also has proclaimed the end of the ‘conservative alliance’ between conservative white Catholics and Evangelical Protestants. The Journal reported:
"practicing Catholics are now distinguishing themselves from their conservative allies." For example, in 2004, "vast majorities of traditional white evangelicals (85%) and traditional white Catholics (70%) thought the war in Iraq was 'justified.' Since then, conservative white evangelical support for the war has declined slightly to 76.8% but conservative Catholic support has plummeted to 46.8%."
Obama’s increasing appeal to Catholics may also be due to the fact that the McCain – Palin campaign does little Catholic outreach beyond the traditional white conservative Catholic circles. White Evangelical Protestant outreach is much more productive to the campaign.