Religion and the Vote

By | Nov 08, 2012

President Obama won the Catholic vote by a 2-point margin, while Mitt Romney won support among white Catholics by a 19-point margin, according to analysis of exit polls released yesterday.

The analysis, conducted by Faith in Public Life, aimed to shed light on the way that faith impacted the election. It also found that people who attend religious services weekly or more often favored Romney, where as those who attend less regularly often favored the President.

Twenty-five percent of 2012 voters were Catholics and historically, Catholics have sided with the winner of the popular vote in every presidential election since 1972.

White evangelical voters, meanwhile favored Romney by a 57-point margin, with 78% support for the former Governor compared to 21% of support for Obama.  This change, however, mirrors the President’s decreased support among white voters overall.

“A diverse coalition of social justice Catholics, especially Latinos, helped tip the scales this year,” said John Gehring, Catholic Program Director at Faith in Public Life. “While bishops doubled down against same sex marriage and demonized President Obama as an enemy of religious liberty, they were clearly out of touch with many Catholics.


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