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Few US Catholic are 'swing' voters, study finds

CWN - October 12, 2012

Taking a closer look at "the Catholic vote" in the US, the Pew Research Center discovers that, contrary to a widespread opinion, Catholic voters have generally been very consistent in their preferences:

White Catholics who identify themselves as politically conservative have consistently voted for Republican candidates in recent elections. And white Catholics who identify themselves as political liberals have consistently voted for Democrats, as have Hispanic Catholics and other Catholic minorities.

If there is a real "swing vote" among American Catholics, Pew finds, it is found among those who describe themselves as white moderates. This group now accounts for 32% of the total Catholic voting population, but that the percentage is dropping, as an increasing number of Catholics fall into the "conservative" and "Hispanic" classifications. The "white moderate" Catholic voters have shifted political allegiances frequently.

Among these "moderate" Catholics, Pew finds, just 38% attend Mass weekly, and 16% seldom or never go to Mass. Among "liberal" Catholics, the figures for Mass attendance are considerably lower.

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  • Posted by: Savonarola - Oct. 12, 2012 6:58 PM ET USA

    This is not particularly useful. While there probably ought to be a "Catholic vote," properly understood (i.e., informed by Catholic principles), it really does not now exist. The teaching which should be coming from the bishops isn't there and the USCCB bureaucracy has never heard of subsidiarity. Moreover, the bishops have little credibility because of the continuing abuse-and-coverup-scandal and their lack of courage to confront the pro-abortion, nominally Catholic, politicians.

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