By Tom Quiner
Catholics are funny voters.
They historically vote Democrat. The Democratic Party was once the party of the little guy. Catholics were not warmly welcomed into this country, and politics helped them overcome the pitfalls faced by the “little guy.” Democrats embraced and assimilated Catholics.
Now that the Democratic Party, or as I characterize them, the “Take Away Party,” no longer looks out for the little guy, Catholics are not the reliable Democratic voters they once were.
George W. Bush won the Catholic vote twice.
Barack Obama won them back to the Take Away fold twice again.
Yesterday, Catholics voted Republican 53 to 45% according to exit polling conducted by Edison Research. Protestants were even more supportive of Republican candidates, 60 to 38%.
Probing the data more deeply, white Catholics voted Republican 59 to 39%. And weekly church goers of all faiths voted 58% for the GOP. To turn that around, the less religious a voter is, the more likely he/she will vote Democrat.
The data also reveals that 65% of the Hispanic vote (which is also heavily Catholic) voted for the Take Away Party. This number reveals the tremendous opportunity Republicans have in the years to come. Right now, this growing constituency views the Democrats as the Give Away Party. They want to be the recipient of their bounty.
Republicans need to craft a positive message presenting themselves as the Opportunity Party to win over more of these voters.
American Catholics could dominate American politics if they voted in alignment with Church teachings. But there’s the rub. Conservative Catholics like myself view the Republican Party as the most reliable protector and implementer of Catholic social justice teachings. Liberal Catholics, inexplicably, see it just the opposite.
That is what makes politics so interesting.
Congratulations to Republicans on their sweeping victories yesterday.