Tim Drake is an award-winning writer and former journalist and radio host with the National Catholic Register/EWTN. He currently serves as New Evangelization Coordinator for the Holdingford Area Catholic Community in the Diocese of St. Cloud, Minnesota. He resides with his wife and five children in St. Joseph, Minn.
Today, on a special edition of Register Radio, Thomas Peters, cultural director with the National Organization for Marriage, and Michelle Bauman, Washington, D.C. correspondent with Catholic News Agency/EWTN News joined us for the entire show for a post-election roundtable discussion on the election results, the Catholic vote, and the outcome on various ballot initiatives.
Bauman began by providing a breakdown of the electorate and whom they voted for. She pointed out that President Obama received the majority of votes from minorities, such as Latinos and African-Americans, as well as single females, the youth, those who were unmarried, and the religiously unaffiliated. By comparison, Mitt Romney won the white vote, the rural vote, the married vote, and those who attend religious services at least once a week.
On the Catholic vote, Bauman noted that it was identical to the general electorate, with 50% voting for Obama versus 48% voting for Romney. Both Peters and Bauman noted, however, that Catholics who attended Mass at least once per week, were more likely to vote for Romney.
Peters said that there was a significant shift in the Catholic vote. He indicated that Obama's nine point advantage among Catholics in 2008 was reduced to a two point advantage among Catholics this election. He attributed that to the U.S. Bishops efforts to educate voters on issues such as religious liberty and the HHS mandate.
"I was disappointed with the results," admitted Peters. "We have to pray for a legal reprieve. The president is against those who are pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-religious freedom. He may get the change to change the makeup of the Supreme Court. We're facing a serious generational problem."
"The Affordable Care Act will never be repealed," added Peters. "It will continue to exist as an entitlement of the liberal state."
Thom Price asked whether the election losses were attributed to a lack of communication.
"It's a lack of activation, not communication," said Peters, who noted the disparity in the number of volunteers working against Minnesota's marriage amendment in comparison to the numbers supporting the amendment. He suggested that Catholics need to be far more active in the process. "Our opponents start by voting, and then spend months phone-calling, door-knocking, and getting the word out."
On the issue of marriage, Peters noted that traditional marriage lost in all four states - Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, and Washington.
"In Minnesota, we tried to pass a marriage protection amendment so that marriage couldn't be redefined by judges. In Maine, voters approved same-sex 'marriage.' In Maryland and Washington, referendums to try to overturn gay marriage failed," said Peters. "We were outraised by 4 to 1, and 8 to 1 in some cases. Yet, in every one of those states, more people voted for marriage than voted for Romney. Traditional marriage lost by only a small margin. The message this sends to Christians is that marriage will not win if it's not defended."
Amidst all of the bad news, Bauman and Peters did see a bright spot.
"The 'death with dignity initiative,' to allow terminally ill patients to receive a lethal dose of medication from their doctors, was defeated in Massachusetts," said Bauman. "The Church and Cardinal Sean O'Malley did a good job of educating voters on that."
"I've heard a lot of people saying that this is a time to refocus during this Year of Faith," said Bauman.
Quoting an article written by Benedictine University's Tom Hoopes for Catholic Vote, Peters said, "'God's plan throughout history involves losing battles, but winning the war.'"
As always, to hear the full interviews listen to today's show at 2 p.m. EASTERN Friday on any EWTN Radio affiliate or Sirius/XM Satellite Radio. The program re-airs at 7 p.m. EASTERN on Saturday and 11 a.m. EASTERN on Sunday, and is also available on the Register Radio web page, and via podcast.