“Americans are moving past religion.”
Or at least that’s what all the media voices are trying to tell us.
But a new Pew Research survey shows that 56% of Americans wish religion had a larger influence on American life.
And almost two-thirds of Americans wish that political leaders would speak more about the power of faith and prayer.
So don’t let the media think you are the only one. A majority of your friends, co-workers, and neighbors are also welcoming of public expressions of religion.
This Pew study also had important information about Catholics and the 2016 elections. They discovered that 39% of Catholics would be more likely to support a Catholic candidate for office.
And the number of people who consider a candidate’s Catholicism to be a negative is at just 8%. While we wish that number were zero, that’s considerable progress from 1928 when Al Smith was denied the White House largely because of his Catholic faith.
But a candidate’s profession of Catholicism is not enough to guarantee that he will win a majority of Catholic support — and nor should it. John Kerry claimed to be Catholic but supported abortions. And thankfully, a majority of Catholics voted for his pro-life opponent George W. Bush (a Methodist).
The Pew study also asked Catholics which candidates would make an average, good or great president. The CARA research team broke down the data for Catholics and found something fascinating:
Some interesting conclusions can be pulled from this data:
–Donald Trump fared the worst among all presidential candidates, and he didn’t do any better with Catholics, despite his claims of having strong blue collar support.
–Marco Rubio stands out with a very high 65% of support from Catholics who think he will be great, good or average as president — a full seven percentage points higher than the rest of the adult population. Ted Cruz like Rubio is of Cuban descent. And 60% of Catholics think he’ll do average or better as president — four percentage points higher than the rest of adults.
–Hillary Clinton’s efforts to make in-roads to Catholic voters (which we at CatholicVote have warned about) sadly might be paying dividends. While 54% of adults think she will do average or better as president, that number rises to 58% when you ask Catholics.
That a sizable majority of Catholic adults maintain an affinity for Hillary Clinton is very troubling — and sign that you and I have our work cut out for us in 2016.
It’s also worth noting just how strongly Marco Rubio is performing with Catholic adults, as well as Ted Cruz and Ben Carson.
Catholics who want a pro-life president should take a look at this information as they begin casting votes in the presidential primaries.