The pro-life movement may have finally turned a corner in getting Catholic voters to move away from Democrats, who remain the political party of unlimited abortion.
The Democratic Party ran some of its most pro-abortion candidates this election cycle — ranging from Wendy Davis, known for filibustering a bill to ban late-term abortions, and Mark Udall, who earned the derisive tag “Mark Uterus” because his entire campaign revolved around lying about his pro-life opponents stance on birth control.
Just two years ago, Catholics voted for President Barack Obama by a margin of 50 percent to 48 percent. On Tuesday, they abandoned Obama’s party: 54 percent voted for Republican candidates and 45 percent went for the Democrats (60 percent of white Catholics chose GOP candidates). What is most startling about the Catholic vote is that it represents an exact turnaround from 2008: 54 percent voted for Obama and 45 percent cast their ballot for Senator John McCain.
Catholics are pragmatic. Until the McGovernization of the Democratic Party in 1972, they were among the most reliably Democratic voters in the nation. Since that time, they have been politically homeless, which is why both parties vie for their vote so aggressively. Catholics are a bellwether: whoever wins their vote, generally wins the election. By contrast, Protestants vote Republican and Jews vote Democrat.
Asians are another group to watch. Not only are they the fastest growing minority in the U.S.—they constitute 3 percent of the electorate—they are up for grabs by both parties. In the last presidential election, Obama captured 73 percent of their vote. But not this year: Asians voted 50 percent to 49 percent, choosing Republicans over Democrats. This is a huge turnaround in just two years.
Some things never change. Most Americans are either high school graduates, have attended college, or are college graduates: they voted Republican, by a wide margin. So who voted for the Democrats? High school dropouts and postgraduates. That would make for a great “60 Minutes” segment: Why is it that those who know nothing have so much in common with those who think they know everything?
Jeff Walton of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, also took a look at the evangelical and Catholic vote.
Conservative religious voters made up as big a percentage of the electorate as ever, backing Republicans at least as strongly as ever in the midterm election according to exit polls released following Tuesday’s voting.
White evangelicals were 26 percent of the electorate this year, 78 percent voting Republican, up from 2010, when they were 25 percent of the electorate and 77 percent voted Republican, and 2006, when they were 24 percent of the electorate and 70 percent voted Republican.
White Catholics were similarly unchanged: they made up 19 percent of the electorate this year, 60 percent of whom voted Republican, whereas in 2010 they were 17 percent of the electorate, 59 percent of whom voted Republican, and in 2006 they were 20 percent of the electorate, 49 percent of whom supported Republicans.
“It is often claimed that conservative religious voters, especially white evangelicals, are going the way of the dinosaur, consigned to demographic irrelevance. But they were a key component of the Republicans’ 2014 midterm victories.
“White evangelicals have remained a steady percentage of the electorate for a decade or more, even as whites overall have been a shrinking share of the population. As white Mainline Protestants continue to decline, it appears Republicans are making some gains among ethnic Protestants, whose numbers are growing.
“The 26 percent of the 2014 electorate who were white evangelicals, according to exit polls, is higher than the 23 percent of 2004, when evangelicals were lionized as an imposing electoral force.
“Wherever demographic trends lead in the future, conservative Christians were decisive in the 2014 election, and their percentage of the electorate has not declined.”