National Catholic Register


Voting and Abortion

BY Tom McFeely

November 16-22, 2008 Issue | Posted 11/11/08 at 12:46 PM


WASHINGTON — A poll conducted last month indicated that most Catholic voters did not make abortion their primary concern in deciding how to vote.

The Le Moyne College / Zogby International Contemporary Catholic Trends Poll of 1,000 Catholics was conducted Oct. 17-20.

Only 29% of the respondents to the poll said they would vote against a candidate because of the candidate’s abortion views, if they agreed with the candidate on all other issues.

The poll also found that a minority (44%) of Catholics believe “a good Catholic” could not vote for a candidate who supports abortion rights, whereas 53% said a good Catholic could vote for a pro-abortion candidate.

According to the poll, a majority of Catholics also believe it’s acceptable to vote for candidates who support embryonic stem-cell research (60%) and the death penalty (55%). However, majorities also said that good Catholics should not vote for candidates who support same-sex “marriage” (54%), euthanasia (59%) and human cloning (76%).

Those who attended Mass weekly were more supportive of voting in accordance with Church teachings on all of the issues mentioned in the poll, by an overall average of more than 15%.

“In essence, less than a third of Catholic voters appear to vote solely on abortion attitudes, but those who do tend to favor ‘pro-life’ candidates,” said Le Moyne sociology professor Matt Loveland in an Oct. 29 press release. “Abortion attitudes point to important identity issues for some Catholics.”