Pew Poll: Obama vs. the Bishops

Among Catholics who have heard about the issue:

55% favor exemptions from HHS directive
39% don’t

Protestants:

51% yes
39% no

All voters:

48% yes
44% no

Quick Analysis: This is not a non-issue.
Poll is February 8-12. “The survey shows little difference in opinions among people interviewed before the administration’s proposed modification on Feb. 10 and those interviewed afterwards.”

Tabs: here.

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37 thoughts on “Pew Poll: Obama vs. the Bishops

      • According to the 2008 Exit Poll by CNN, Obama got 54% of the vote of Catholics. I’m perfectly willing to bet today that Obama will not get less than 50% of the vote than either Romney or Santorum according to the 2012 National Exit Poll from CNN.

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        • Ditto this.  An important question here is how intense is the opposition to the policy among opposing Catholics?  Polls are useful, but they really aren’t very good at measuring intensity.  So of that 55% of Catholics who favor an exemption, it’s possible that a substantial portion of them aren’t saying, “it’s an evil conspiracy and I’m going to sell my home so I can give the proceeds to the anti-Obama campaign,” but, “yeah, the Church should probably get an exemption…hey, shiny object!”

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  1. So, you’re saying that the Catholics, of all people would vote against Obama? Over this little thing?

    The bishops have already been busy denying communion to those catholics (like kerry) who support abortion in their voting.

    they’ve already called for people to not support Obama, or people of his ilk.

    didn’t work the last time.

    … do you remember when Romney would win in a landslide?

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  2. The bishops have very little real control over the elusive “Catholic vote”.

    Unlike the bishops, with their laser-like focus on uteri, most Catholics care about a range of issues, from Afghanistan to taxes, and contraception is pretty far down that list.

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    • Yeah, I think old white guys in the Beltway and conservative commentators underestimate how much the average Catholic parishioner just doesn’t give a fuck about what the Bishop’s say about anything after the last 30 years of child sex scandals.

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      • Lib60 & Jesse, the furor is over religious liberty, not contraception.  I’m surprised Barack Obama could do anything to get American Catholics on the side of the bishops, but it looks like he might have succeeded.

         

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          • Yes, Jesse, your ho-hum was noted the first time.  Ho-hum.  ;-)

            I’ll take yr bet for a buck.  I’m not predicting the electorate’s reaction, I’m hoping that it reacts to this stunt correctly.

            I’m at arm’s length from the actual theological or moral truth claims; I don’t care about contraception itself either way—I don’t oppose it, I don’t think we owe free contraceptives to anyone as a human or political right.

            I think Cathy Young of Reason gets it right:

            The issue is where the line should be drawn; and, for many Americans, that line is crossed when Catholic institutions such as hospitals, schools and charities—with a narrow exemption for churches—are forced to buy employee insurance policies that cover services prohibited by Catholic teachings. Catholics who use contraception, and Protestants who have little sympathy for the Catholic Church’s anti-birth-control stance, may still be offended by the state dictating to the church in such matters.

            President Obama has picked the wrong fight. Rather than expand birth control options for women, this policy may undermine already shaky support for the health reform legislation. Suddenly, predictions that ObamaCare will result in less freedom and more bureaucratic authority do not seem so outlandish.

            And bingo that last bit double.

             

             

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  3. “Lib60 & Jesse, the furor is over religious liberty, not contraception.”

    48% of Americans, which is a non-majority, agreeing that one predominant faith deserves exemption from an aspect of a controversial health reform is hardly evidence that the furor has to do with religious liberty.

    Americans will demonstrate a true belief in religious liberty when they overwhelmingly support religous liberty extended to each and every faith.

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    • Catholics siding with the bishops over Obama 55-39% is the interesting part.  I would not have thought this possible on any issue.

      What it means, we shall see.  Perhaps nothing, perhaps everything.  We’re into some virgin territory here.  The Obama Admin’s attack on the Roman Church here is without historical precedent.

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          • I would hardly characterise this as an “attack on the Catholic Church.” If you want one of those, you need to come across the pond and take a trip back in time a few centuries over here, to back when we were actually banning them from worship and putting their leaders to death.

            From our perspective, you are just being silly. So businesses that happen to claim to be “Catholic” have to obey the same laws that businesses run by Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, Pagans, Agnostics, Atheists, Pastafarians, Professed Jedi, Messianic Reformist Calvinists, and any other religious persuasion do, and it’s an “assault” on the Catholic Church? You’re being far too silly, and to an outsider’s perspective it is painfully, possibly in a sadomasochistic way obvious that this is more about reaching for any possible straw of an issue to wedge against a very popular sitting presidential figure.

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          • Blaine Amendments in the late 19th century were explicitly created to block public funds from being used for parochial schools. This to my mind is a substantially greater attack on Catholicism than requiring insurance companies to cover contraception if the employer won’t provide that coverage.

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            • Nob, Blaine failed on the nat’l level.  The Obama Admin’s attack on the Catholic Church is worse, as it’s purely ideological and contrary to the spirit of the First Amendment.

              Even if Blaine was worse, that’s an academic discussion.  Obama has American Catholics siding with their bishops.  This is quite a political achievement.

              Good point of order per history, though.   Perhaps some other time…

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              • Obama has American Catholics siding with their bishops? On what planet?

                The Catholic Church is so out of date and so out of touch that they can’t even get 10% of their membership to show up for church the weekend of christmas. The polls you’re quoting are assuming that the people answering are actual catholics and not just right wing goons claiming to be Catholic to tilt the poll.

                98% of Catholics use contraception. Less than 50% of any “Catholic” hospital’s employees are actually Catholic, and you know damn well even less than that of the patients are. Treat ’em like any other employer, they don’t have the right to force employees to worship their fake god or follow their phoney baloney religious code.

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      • What is the context for “without historical precedent?”  While I enjoyed Ryan’s quip, I suspect Tom wasn’t using such a broad context.  My mind immediately went to the denial of plural marriage for Mormons.  But Tom may not even be referring to a religious oppression context at all (even though it’s easy to assume that, given his “attack on the church” language), but perhaps only an electoral context.  And if it’s only an electoral context, I can’t immediately come up with a counterfactual to his claim.

        Care to clarify for us, sir?  I am curious.

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      • The Obama Admin’s attack on the Roman Church here is without historical precedent.

        I suppose that depends on what you mean by “historical,” and what you mean by “precedent.”

        This is a rule that has been in place since 2000, for institutions that employ more than 200 people (which would certainly include most hospitals).   The HHS ruling simply changed the threshhold to institutions that employ at least 15 people.

        So, while I have some sympathy for the “religious freedom” argument, I personally think the administration drew the line at pretty much the right place.   You are, of course, free to disagree;  but this is not some historic attack on religion, or anything close to it.

        You know, the dial doesn’t always have to be turned to eleven.

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