As more than 40 Catholic groups file suit against the Obama administration over its HHS mandate forcing them to pay for birth control and abortion-causing drugs for employees, new poling data shows President Barack Obama is tanking with Catholic voters.
Ashley McGuire, Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association and the editor-in-chief of AltCatholicah, and Maureen Malloy Ferguson, Senior Policy Adviser with The Catholic Association, point out the huge 14-point loss the pro-abortion president has had with Catholics in recent months:
A recent survey by the Pew Research Center shows that, despite the administration’s self-portrayal as the champion of “women’s issues” amidst a supposed Republican “war on women,” the president’s reelection advantage among women has declined in recent months as well as with another key demographic — Catholics.Catholic apologists for Obama were able to paint a pretty picture over high smaller abortion record as a U.S. senator and legislator from Illinois in the 2008 election campaign, but they will have a hard time putting a shiny veneer on Obama this time around. Given his extensive abortion advocacy and the violation of religious rights and liberties via Obamacare and the HHS mandate, Catholic voters will abandon Obama in droves this election and either stay home or shift to Mitt Romney.
Obama was ahead among Catholics by 9 points in early March, and is now trailing by 5 points.
The Pew survey finds that, among Catholic voters with an opinion, 47% would today vote for President Obama, and 52% for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.
That same margin, were it to hold on Election Day, would mark a swing of 18 million voters away from Obama.
The loss of these Catholic votes alone would remake the 2008 electoral map, delivering Florida to Governor Romney and leaving the president no margin for error in Colorado or Ohio.
While some Catholics defy Church leaders, polling data shows they are on board with the frustration with the Obama administration this time.While the numbers are positive for pro-life advocates, Thomas Peters at CatholicVote, a pro-life group, suggests much more can be done to educate Catholic voters on just how out of step Obama is with their values.
In the most comprehensive survey conducted on the issue yet, Washington-based public opinion firm QEV Analytics recently found that some 50% of regular churchgoing Catholics heard a statement during Mass setting forth the bishops’ serious misgivings about the insurance mandate. Of all the Catholics who heard this statement, most apparently agreed with it.
The administration likely gambled that minor losses with the Catholic vote would be more than compensated for by surging support from women, in particular young, single women. But the QEV findings indicate that this was a major miscalculation.
Even among women under age 45, the survey found that a majority – 54% – support the Church’s position that religious institutions should not be required to violate their own teachings.
Among women age 45 or older 58% felt the same; they question the wisdom of a mandate that would leave many faith-based charities no choice but to curtail their services to the needy, or close down altogether.
Amazingly, only 50% of respondents said they had heard of the debate over the HHS mandate. That means we need to be talking about all of these issues more, because half of America isn’t even aware of what’s going on!
What we have to continue doing is being vocal about it and continuing to reach out and educate our friends and family who are not yet engaged in the fight.
One thing we have to realize is that this task of informing our fellow citizens is not going to be aided in any serious way by the mainstream media. As Brent Bozell points out, the evening news broadcasts yesterday “all but spiked the largest legal action in history to defend our Constitutionally-protected religious freedom”. Nonetheless, those Catholics who have heard about this fight for religious freedom are now beginning to abandon their support for President Obama.