Poll: Obama surges ahead among Catholic voters
Among all registered voters, Obama leads Romney 51-42 percent, according to Pew.
Obama and Romney are essentially tied among white Catholics, which some pollsters call the ultimate swing group.
On Monday (Sept. 24) Romney unveiled his Catholics for Romney Coalition, which includes numerous politicians, beer magnate Pete Coors and Princeton University intellectual Robert P. George. The Obama campaign also has a Catholic coalition.
From June 21-July 4, the U.S. Catholic bishops held a “Fortnight for Freedom,” with Masses, prayer groups and presentations in dozens of dioceses nationwide. The campaign was directed in part against an Obama administration mandate that requires some religious institutions, such as colleges and hospitals, to provide cost-free contraception coverage to employees.
John C. Green, an expert on religion and politics at the University of Akron in Ohio, said Obama’s surge among Catholic voters does not mean the bishops’ campaign was ineffective. But religious freedom is not the most salient issue for Catholics during an election dominated by economic concerns, he said.
“It’s not the issue that most middle-of-the-road Catholics are responding to,” Green said. [more]