Challenges Facing Catholic Voters in the 2016 Election

by Deal Hudson | The Christian Review  |  published on March 11, 2015

Anyone who wishes to understand the Catholic vote needs to recognize two things from the start. First, there is no reliable “Catholic block” of voters, but there is a sizable group of white Catholic moderates who “swing” back and forth from one party to the other. They can determine the outcome elections, as has been the case in every presidential election since 2000.

White Catholics as a whole made up only 18% of the electorate in 2012, but as a group of 18,000,000 voters the moderates among them are significant.

Next, there is a important distinction to be made between Catholic voters who attend Mass regularly, called “active Catholics,” and Catholic who do not, called “inactive” or “self-identified Catholics.” The latter’s voting pattern is indistinguishable from the national voting pattern, while active Catholics can differ between 4% to 10%, always in favor of the socially conservative candidate, usually a Republican.

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