The Catholic Vote as a Key and Underreported Story Hurting Trump

by teacherken –

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Aaron Blake’s story Donald Trump has a massive Catholic problem went live at the web site of The Washington Post.  This is a data laden story that is very important.

Yes, to be sure, part of it is the antipathy of Latinos to Trump, but it is so much more.

The story notes that in 2012 Obama only beat Romney 50-48 among Catholics, and that Republicans have won the Catholic vote in 5 of the past 10 presidential elections.

This cycle?  Consider some data:

Public Religion Research Institute Poll has Clinton up among Catholics 55-32, a 23 point margin

The last Washington Post — ABC poll was even worse, with Clinton up 61-34, a 27 point margin.

And in that WaPost-ABC poll, the 25 point swing from Romney to against Trump is the largest swing among any demographic, with the next highest being 21 points among voters over 65.

That swing is also matched, however, by that of white college-educated women, from +6 for Romney to -19 for Trump.

To put into context, consider what exit polls showed as share of the electorate (recognizing that there is some overlap among these three groups:

Independents  29%

Non-White       28%

Catholics          25%

Quoting from Blake’s story:

While we often look at how Trump is doing worse than Romney among Hispanics, we’re really talking about the difference between Trump taking 45 percent of the vote and 46 percent — or maybe 49.5 percent or 50.5 percent. That’s because Hispanics are only about 10 percent of the electorate, and the GOP’s share of that vote is likely to be between 20 and 35 percent or so.

When talking about Catholics, though, Trump is basically adding 5 to 7 percentage points to Clinton’s overall margin. If 25 percent of the electorate is Catholic, Clinton is currently taking 14 to 15 points worth of that chunk, while Trump is taking 8 or 8.5 points. And this is a group, again, that is usually close to tied.

Obviously there are lots of reasons, including the Donald making the mistake of getting involved in a spat with a very beloved Pope. Blake writes about that, and quotes someone who points out that many Catholics maintain a communal memory of the discrimination they face (starting as far back as before the Civil War).


Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos