EWTN News/RealClear Opinion Research Poll No. 4 Finds Catholics Support Judge Amy Coney Barrett for the Supreme Court

In latest poll, a majority of Catholics favor the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett, and while Joe Biden is ahead nationally among Catholics in the race for the White House, the swing states are within the margin of error.

This fourth poll is the final in a series that surveyed 1,490 Catholics who are likely voters on faith and political and public-policy issues.
This fourth poll is the final in a series that surveyed 1,490 Catholics who are likely voters on faith and political and public-policy issues. (photo: Shutterstock)

A new EWTN News-RealClear Opinion Research poll finds that Catholic likely voters support the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court by nearly 20 percentage points.

Most also oppose questions directed at her faith, and there is overwhelming support for the U.S. Constitution’s Article VI, which bans religious tests for public office. The poll also explored other political and religious opinions among Catholics.

This fourth poll is the final in a series that surveyed 1,490 Catholics who are likely voters on faith and political and public-policy issues. The poll has a confidence interval of 2.79 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error increases for sub groups.

When asked about Barrett’s confirmation to the high court, among those who offered an opinion, 46% of those surveyed said they supported it, while only 28% opposed it. A further 27% said they needed more information.

In addition, almost three in four (74%) said they supported the constitutional prohibition on religious tests. Only 12% disagreed. And almost two in three (64%) said questions about a nominee’s faith should not be asked. Only about a quarter (23%) disagreed.

Notably, a plurality of likely Catholic voters (48% to 43%) said that any time during his four-year term that a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court, including in an election year, the president should nominate someone.

“Like the American electorate broadly, there is no consensus on Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the high court,” said John Della Volpe, director of polling for the Harvard University Institute of Politics who oversaw the polling for RealClear Opinion Research. “Slightly less than half (46%) support the nomination, while the Catholic voters either oppose it (28%) or are waiting to learn more before making a firm decision (27%). Judge Barrett enjoys the support of nearly four-in-five (77%) Catholic Republicans; but only about a quarter (24%) of Catholic Democrats say the same. Breaking from their support for Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 matchup, Catholic Independents support Judge Barrett’s nomination by a margin of 11 points — 39% to 28%.”

As in the previous poll last month, this poll also found that Catholics’ major concerns have been shaped by the pandemic, the economy and civil unrest. A majority said the following were major concerns: economy and jobs (73%), coronavirus (68%), health care (67%) and civil unrest (53%). While a majority of respondents did not cite them as a “major concern,” a majority did specify as either “a major concern” or “a concern” Supreme Court appointments, race relations, abortion and religious freedom.

As for protests, while most Catholics (61%) believe that nonviolent protests do more good than harm to the country, an overwhelming majority (82%) believe that protests that turn violent do more harm than good.

In terms of the November election, a majority of Catholics say they support Joe Biden (52%), while four in 10 (40%) support Donald Trump. Nevertheless, the gap narrows significantly in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In those states Biden leads by four points (48% to 44%), which is within the poll’s margin of error. The gap also tends to narrow or flip to support for President Trump among Catholics who go to Mass more often, while support for Biden increases among those who attend church less frequently.

Catholic voters are divided on some issues but said they are more likely to support candidates who seek to protect religious freedom (78% to 14%) and are less likely to support candidates who support taxpayer funding of abortion (52% to 34%) or who support abortion at any time during a pregnancy (60% to 28%).

These numbers are even more interesting in light of the fact that by almost 20 points (59% to 41%), Catholics see abortion as “morally wrong.” This opinion was strongest among Catholics who go to Mass at least weekly (71% to 29%).

In addition to social and political issues, the survey also asked Catholics about their faith. About four in 10 Catholics say they go to confession monthly to yearly, while 60% go less than that or do not go at all. Among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, more than two-thirds (68%) say they go to confession regularly.

And while half of Catholics surveyed believe the Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ, the number climbs to seven in 10 (69%) among those who attend Mass at least weekly.


NOTE ON METHODOLOGY

The survey of 1,490 likely Catholic voters was conducted online in English and Spanish from Oct. 5 to Oct. 11, 2020. The poll has a confidence interval of 2.79 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. The margin of error increases for sub groups.

 

Shannon Mullen, Editor-in-Chief of CNA

Meet CNA’s New Editor-in-Chief, Shannon Mullen (July 31)

A new era has begun at the Catholic News Agency even as the news cycle continues to bring challenging stories both inside the Church and around the world. This week on Register Radio, we get to know Shannon Mullen, the new editor-in-chief of CNA. And then, we are joined by the Register’s Washington Correspondent, Lauretta Brown, to catch up on the latest pro-life news from the nation’s capital.