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Obama HHS Mandate Prompted Active Catholics to Swing to Romney

by Steven Ertelt | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 11/15/12 7:03 PM

National, Politics

While Team Obama, the president and his pro-abortion allies, pushed the abortion debate towards a phony War on Women and made the election about birth control and contraception, pro-life groups fought back against the Obama HHS mandate.

Leading pro-life groups and Catholic organizations pressed the Obama administration hard in their pushback against a mandate that forces religious groups, businesses and educational institutions to violate their own consciences an pay for drugs that may cause abortions.

Brian Burch of CatholicVote tells LifeNews that that focus made a difference — as active, or churchgoing, Catholics swing away from Obama, whom they supported in 2008, and towards Mitt Romney.

“If you’ve read any post-election news reports, you might be thinking that we lost the Catholic vote big time,” he said. “But that’s not true. The media are already trumpeting the news that the “Catholic vote” went for Barack Obama 50-48. But like every headline, there’s more to the story.”

“The Catholic vote cannot be understood correctly without defining what we mean by “Catholic.” And since 2000, intelligent political observers agree that the best way to measure the Catholic vote is to break up the generic “Catholic vote” into those that regularly attend Mass (active Catholics) and those that do not regularly attend Mass (inactive Catholics),” he explained.

So what happened in 2012?

“Active Catholics accounted for 11% of the electorate in 2012 and voted 57-42 for Mitt Romney over President Obama. This represents a 14-point swing from 2008,” Burch explained. “This means that hundreds of thousands of Catholics changed their vote from 4 years ago — voting this time for the candidate representing life, family, and freedom.”

So if Catholics who are active churchgoers shifted to Romney from Obama last time, why did Mitt Romney lose the Catholic vote?

“That said, the results were clear, and we fell short of our goal, in part because of the impact of the Hispanic Catholic vote (75-21 for Obama), single women voters and young people,” the pro-life advocate said. “We can’t solve every electoral problem. Our job is to educate, activate and mobilize the Catholic vote. And 42% of Mass attending Catholics voting for a President who stands against virtually everything we believe is simply unacceptable.”

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“Inactive Catholics represented 13% of the electorate and voted 56-42 for President Obama,” he explained. “Regrettably, the electoral difficulties with these Catholic voters will inevitably persist. They remain our brothers and sisters in the Faith, and so we will never give up in inviting them to take seriously the call of our Church. Perhaps the best way to help these voters is to urge them to go to Mass more frequently.”

“We have every right to be disappointed, but we shouldn’t ignore the progress we made. More and more active Catholics are waking up and voting for faith, family and freedom. We’re making steady progress, but much more must be done,” Burch said. “And regardless of the results, there is never any shame in fighting for what is right, win or lose.”