In 2008, President Obama enjoyed wide support from American Catholics, with 54% voting for him compared to 45% for John McCain. The Catholic vote is critical to his re-election, and now that voter segment’s support for the President is in doubt. One of the key reasons is the Obama administration HHS mandate which forces Catholic institutions to pay for drugs and treatments that violate the principles of the Church.
In early March, a Pew Research Center survey found that President Obama was ahead of any opponent by nine points with Catholic voters. A more recent poll by the same group shows considerable slippage with 47% of Catholics stating they would vote for President Obama compared to 52% for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. If these numbers hold up, President Obama would lose some 18 million voters, a very significant swing in the wrong direction for the President’s re-election chances, especially in key election states.
How could the President have gone so wrong with a large voter group so enamored with his message in 2008? Some genius adviser apparently convinced him that creation of a “war on women” would advance his candidacy. Even Catholic women would side with the President instead of their own church, and large numbers of other women, especially young women, would swing to his side to compensate for the loss of other Catholics.
Not only has the President alienated numbers of Catholics with the mandate, but he single-handedly strengthened the resolve of members of other faiths who smell an unprecedented assault on religion that will impact all churches. A gross miscalculation on the President’s part which, added to his undeterred support for abortion on demand, could lead to his defeat in November. Let’s hope so.