Thirty percent of Catholics said that religious liberty is an issue of greater concern to them, compared to 34% of non-Catholics. Seventy percent of Catholics, however, said that Americans are becoming "less tolerant" of religion in America, while 62% percent of Catholic voters said they would like Christian values to play a more important role in society, compared to 54% of all registered voters.
The survey also found that 37% of Catholics believe the U.S. is generally headed in the right direction, while 34% of non-Catholics said the same.
Robert P. George, the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University, spoke Dec. 9 with EWTN News Nightly about the poll.
"There is not a Catholic vote, and there hasn't been a Catholic vote in a long time. Catholics, in the aggregate, tend to line up on political questions pretty much the way the country does. There's not any distinctive margin for Catholics being conservative or being liberal, or really, strictly speaking being Democrat rather than Republican," George told EWTN News Nightly.
"Catholics in general will sometimes be a majority for Democrats, sometimes be a majority for Republcan So if you know where the American public in general is on a candidate, or on an election referendum, you'll pretty much know where the Catholics are, taken in the aggregate."
George pointed out that among Catholics, demographic groups vary widely in terms of partisan affiliation and political priorities.
Indeed, the poll found that among Catholic voters under 35, 56% are Democrats and 20% are Republicans, while 20% identify as independent. Among Baby Boomers and older Catholics, over 55, 45% are Republicans, 36% are Democrats, and 18% are independents.
Thirty-four percent of Catholics under 35 say they approve of Trump's job performance, while 55% of Catholics over 55 approve of the president's job performance.
As to ethnicity, 37% of white Catholics are Democrats, 42% are Republicans; while 60% of Hispanic/Latino Catholics are Democrats, 24% Republican.
Twenty-two percent of white Catholics consider themselves to be liberal, 36% conservative; while the opposite is true for Hispanic/Latinos, where 33% report being liberal and 26% conservative.
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Fifty-four percent of white Catholics approve of Trump's job performance, while 31% of Hispanic/Latinos Catholics do.
Fifty-eight percent of Catholics who say they accept all Church teaching also said they are "sure to vote" for Donald Trump in 2020, compared to 34% of all Catholics and 32% of respondents overall who gave the same answer.
Catholics were also asked about their religious practices. Almost 4 in 10 self-identified Catholics said they attend Mass at least once a week, and a similar number attend Mass a few times a year. About one-quarter of self-identified Catholics said they attend Mass once a year or less.
The poll's entire data set can be downloaded here.