Obama won among 'all Catholics’; McCain won regular churchgoers
As the election of Barack Obama is slid under the microscope, it’s already clear that Catholics played a significant and complex role. According to exit polls, those who identified themselves as Catholics voted for Obama 52 to 45 percent, a seven-point improvement for the Democratic candidate from the elections in 2004. That is the largest shift this election of any religiously affiliated group.
But does it represent a sea change in the Catholic political consciousness? Not necessarily, says John Green, senior fellow in religion and American politics at the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
“It really doesn’t look to me like a realignment,” Green said in a media conference call Nov. 4. “I see this as a variation on the existing themes. We see the same structure. It’s just that Obama made this work for the Democrats.”
He was referring to the larger religious landscape, but was including Catholics in that equation. As much as anything, it appears an infusion of non-white voters from all religious points of view made the difference for Obama.