Obama policies may be effort to court non-religious voters
Recent policies by the Obama administration that have isolated many American Catholics may be part of an election strategy to reach out to non-Christian and non-religious voters, says one political scientist who specializes in Catholic research.
“I don’t think his campaign is really worried about ‘winning’ the Catholic vote,” said Mark M. Gray, director of Catholic polls for Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Gray explained in a March 29 blog post that President Obama may be willing to risk losing the Catholic vote as he works to build support among those who are not Christian or not religious at all.
In his post, Gray examined a series of decisions by President Obama and his administration which “could lead to the appearance of bias against the Church that would potentially damage his support among some Catholics in an election year.”
A recent analysis by the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate estimated that there will be approximately 55.6 million Catholics in the voting-age population for the 2012 election.
Seventy-nine percent of these Catholics live in 16 states that offer a combined 306 Electoral College votes.
These states create a significant target for candidates, who need 270 Electoral College votes to win the race. [More]