Tuesday, February 08, 2005

More Election Analysis of the Catholic Vote

Via Left Coaster

It’s time to debunk another myth about the 2004 election: the support for Bush and his social agenda by American Catholics. A new Zogby poll done back in December finds that of those polled, Bush carried Catholics by only 5% over Kerry (48%-43%). The survey also found that amongst Catholics, Bush’s support was strongest in the 35-54 age group (52% for Bush, 40% for Kerry), and in the 55-69 age group (53%-41%). Kerry outpolled Bush amongst Catholics under 35 and 70 or over.

Like the rest of the electorate, turnout was the deciding factor in Catholic support. Kerry outpolled Bush amongst Hispanic Catholics by 45 points (70%-25%); yet Hispanic Catholics had a turnout 20% lower than white Catholics. And younger Catholics turned out far less than older Catholics, and it was this younger group that voted more strongly for Kerry over Bush. As a voting block, Catholics had a very large turnout in the 2004 election.

More revealingly, any conclusion that gay marriage or abortion were largely deciding factors in Bush’s favor amongst Catholics is wrong. According to Zogby’s results, when asked to decide which of four issues are most important in making a voting decision amongst American Catholics, abortion and gay marriage came in third and fourth.

When asked to rank the four issues in order of personal importance in making voting decisions, over 62% of American Catholics chose overcoming poverty as being either first or second in importance. Almost 59% ranked economic justice first or second. Abortion was chosen first or second in importance by just 39% of respondents, and same-sex marriage was ranked first or second by slightly over 25%.

Zogby just got taken to the cleaners. Most Catholics will tell a pollster on the phone or proclaim loudly that economic justice and overcoming poverty are their primary issues. Yeah and I got some swamp land to sell you. Poverty, justice, economic or social, are not high on the Catholic Right's agenda, they're just too embarassed to say so.

There's more to the poll, for instance that the majority of Catholics are opposed to Bush's privatization scheme. The truth is that that percentage means absolutely nothing, because the Catholic Right has the uncanny ability to turn every single issue into abortion. Can you say single issue? The other thing is that they'll say what they think is the correct answer by Church standards, but then what they do as far as political support is a far different story. The moral of the story? The Catholic Right is GOP and the GOP is the Catholic Right.


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