Dallas, Texas, Apr 14, 2004 / 22:00 pm
In the view of Arnold Hamilton, a political analyst for the Knight Ridder Tribune News Service, the Catholic vote will provably be decisive in defining the next election.
In his latest analysis about Democratic candidate John Kerry and his Catholicism, Hamilton argues that in a campaign in which a polarized electorate magnifies every swing vote, “how Catholics view Kerry - whose positions on abortion and stem cell research conflict with church teaching - could be pivotal, especially in heavily Catholic Midwestern states considered vital to Democratic prospects.”
In his analysis, Hamilton says that both Kerry and President Bush, a Methodist, recognize the power Catholic voters could wield in the election: “Bush taking steps to carve deeper into the traditional Democratic bloc and Kerry lashing out at conservative Catholics who question his commitment to the faith.”
According to the Knight Ridder analyst, America's 65 million Catholics represent more than one-fifth of the nation's population, many living in states with the most electoral votes, such as California, Texas, Florida, Illinois and Ohio.