At my church during mass they say “Let us pray that the federal government will be restored to its founding principles and allow religious liberty.” They stop short of naming names, but anyone paying attention knows what they mean. I think that President Obama could lose the Catholic vote this time around. Many Catholics supported him last time in the name of unity and racial harmony. He failed to deliver, and paid them back with a kick in the gut. Catholics are good people, but we don’t take kindly to being thrown under the bus.
Among white Catholics, Romney has jumped to a 14-point lead (54-40) after being tied with Obama in September in the poll.
To understand just how significant that is, consider that in 2008, Obama won Catholics by 9 percent (54 to 45) and lost white Catholics by just 5 percent (47 to 52). In 2004, the Catholic vote went narrowly to Bush overall (more widely among white Catholics), and in 2000 it went narrowly to Gore (and narrowly to Bush among white Catholics).
The 14-point lead Romney currently enjoys among white Catholics is almost without precedent.
Catholic voters are abandoning Obama for the same reason many other voters are: the sluggish economy, Romney’s strong performance in the presidential debates, Obama’s dishonesty and failure in Benghazi.
Yet Catholic voters have reason to feel particularly aggrieved, given the Obama administration’s battle with the Catholic church over the mandate in Obamacare that employers cover abortion drugs and contraceptives.
Those grievances came to the fore particularly sharply in mid-October, after the Vice Presidential debate between incumbent Democrat Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan (both Catholics). Ryan brought up the conflict between the administration and the church over Obamacare: “They’re infringing upon our first freedom, the freedom of religion, by infringing on Catholic charities, Catholic churches, Catholic hospitals.”
Romney now has the Catholics, the Evangelicals, and the independents. Heck, Romney is even picking up a lot of the Jewish vote. He’s also leading every poll among independents. Being petty doesn’t seem to be helping, not that Obama hasn’t resorted to that. Its pretty much all he’s got.