Nevertheless, the “right track/wrong track” question, she said, “has to be a worrying one for Democrats.”
“The negative picture this poll provides is consistent with all the major polls,” Bowman said.
Catholic voters don’t always take political stands that are in line with Church teaching, the survey showed. On the issue of abortion, for example, they are sharply divided, and their support for mandating that Catholic organizations provide insurance coverage for contraception to their workers puts them at odds with guidance from the Church.
Opposition to “transgender ideology” and K-12 school curricula emerged as issues of importance to Catholic voters.
In terms of how they practice the faith, while 57% of Catholic voters say they pray daily, 40% say they attend Mass at least weekly. On a question that has received much attention of late, inspiring the Catholic bishops’ National Eucharistic Revival, only 50% of Catholic voters said they believe in the Real Presence of the Eucharist.
Here are some key findings from the survey of likely Catholic voters:
Democrats in Congress went from “favorable” to “unfavorable”
Among Catholic voters, 47% see Democrats in Congress as favorable (compared with 53% in 2020), and 49% see them as unfavorable (compared with 47% in 2020). Republicans are just as unpopular, but their numbers haven’t changed since 2020.
Biden’s approval rating is lower than Trump’s
Forty-five percent of Catholic voters give Biden a favorable rating. That’s compared with the 49% who give Donald Trump a favorable rating — an improvement over the 44% he received two years ago.
One-third of Catholics don’t know that Biden is Catholic
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While 61% believe Biden is Catholic, 6% think he is Protestant or Evangelical, and 27% don’t know his religious affiliation.
Only 24% say the nation is headed in the right direction
The percentage of Catholics who like the way the country is headed decreased from 30% to 24% from the summer of 2020 to 2022. While those who say the country is “off on the wrong track” only increased from 57% to 59%, the number who are “not sure what direction the country is headed in” increased from 13% to 17%.
Few favor abortion on demand
The poll found that a majority of Catholics oppose abortion being legal at any time during a pregnancy.
Taken days before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the poll shows a plurality of Catholics (47%) supporting Roe, compared with the 42% in favor of reversing the decision and sending the issue to the states. Most Catholics (60%), however, say they would be less likely to vote for a political candidate who supports abortion at any time during a pregnancy. As many as 53% of Catholics would be less likely to support a candidate who favored taxpayer funding of abortion.