Nineteen Sixty-four is a research blog for the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) at Georgetown University edited by Mark M. Gray. CARA is a non-profit research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: to increase the Catholic Church's self understanding; to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers; and to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism. Follow CARA on Twitter at: caracatholic.
The Day After: Catholic Vote 2012
National exit polling estimates that President Obama beat Gov. Romney by 2 percentage points among Catholic voters (50% to 48% with 2% voting for some other candidate). This is such a close margin that we may see some other polls like Gallup and the American National Election Study disagree with this as they did in 1988 and 2004. But for now, the "bellwether" status of the Catholic vote appears safe. Catholics made up 25% of all voters (...just one more dagger in the mythology that the Catholic population is in decline and only held steady by immigration). Gov. Romney beat President Obama among Protestants 57% to 42%. However, President Obama was a clear favorite for those without a religious affiliation, winning the "Nones" 70% to 26%. The estimate for the Catholic vote from the exit polls is within 1 percentage point of the final Gallup weekly pre-election estimate for the Catholic vote (i.e., likely voters; see figure here). President Obama had a clear edge among Catholic registered voters throughout much of the campaign but he trailed slightly among Catholic likely voters until the final week when the polls showed a slight shift (see figure here). There will be more data available in the days to come that will allow for analyses by Mass attendance or most important issues...
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