On Saturday, Politico reported that President Donald Trump is facing a collapse in support from Catholic voters — and it could prove decisive against him in the election.
“In the closing days of the 2020 race, polls have shown Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden with a steady lead among Catholic voters, one of the most consequential voting blocs this presidential cycle and a demographic the Trump campaign is counting on to deliver all-important toss-ups — like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Ohio — to their side on Election Day,” reported Gabby Orr. “The state of the Catholic vote four days before the Nov. 3 election underscores the immense challenge the Trump campaign has faced in its year-long attempt to lock in religious voters who appear inclined to support Biden — despite approving of the president’s job performance — out of sheer frustration with Trump’s personality and concerns over the division his presidency has sowed.”
“A mid-October survey by EWTN and RealClearPolitics showed Trump with a 47 percent approval rating among Catholics, but only 40 percent support when respondents were asked who they would vote for if the election were held today,” said the report. “Ditto for a Marquette Law School poll released last week where Trump’s job approval rating (52 percent) among Wisconsin Catholics exceeded their support for his reelection (48 percent).
Moreover, “Only 29 percent of non-Protestant/Catholic voters said they somewhat or strongly agree that Trump ‘keeps his promises,’ according to a POLITICO-Morning Consult survey conducted after the final presidential debate in Nashville, Tenn., last Thursday,” said the report. “The same survey also found that Catholic voters trust Biden more on the economy, jobs, health care, the coronavirus, race relations and public safety.”
One of the big problems for the campaign, said the report, is that “in his campaign’s effort to court Catholic voters with a laser-like focus on his conservative policy accomplishments, they have allowed concerns about his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, immigration and the protests over racial injustice to go unaddressed.”
Biden himself is a lifelong, devout Catholic, which has been a huge obstacle to Trump’s ongoing claim that Biden will “hurt God.”
East Illinois University political scientists Ryan Burge said that “Half of Biden’s advantage right now is the shift among Catholics, who are facing a push-and-pull effect. Trump has pushed them away with his gruffness and extremism, while Biden pulls them in because he’s a white Catholic himself who speaks authentically about their shared faith.”
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