Polls surveys voter opinions on Catholic Church and politics


About 66 percent of the Catholics surveyed in a recent national poll said U.S. Catholic bishops should not publicly pressure Catholic politicians on abortion;  and 87 percent said the bishops’ comments would not influence their vote in November, according to a poll carried out independently by the Quinnipiac University.

The university’s survey polled 1,160 Americans. Of this total amount, about 71 percent believe the bishops should not publicly pressure Catholic politicians; and 85 percent said their view of Democratic Senator John Kerry was unchanged by bishops' recent criticisms.

As well, 55 percent of respondents said abortion should be legal in most or all cases.

Also according to the poll, Catholic voters favor President George W. Bush over Sen. Kerry 48 -- 41 percent with 3 percent for independent candidate Ralph Nader. Among all voters, Bush gets 43 percent to Kerry's 42 percent, with 6 percent for Nader.

Catholics give President Bush a 50 -- 44 percent overall approval, while all voters disapprove 50 -- 45 percent of the job Bush is doing.

The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted from May 18 to 24. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent. The margin of error for the subgroup of Catholic respondents was plus or minus 5.6 percentage points.

See the Quinnipiac University poll at: http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11346.xml

The Quinnipiac University poll seems to contradict another one carried this week by Zogby,   which indicates that only 20% of America's 51 million Catholics support Kerry on issues  where he opposes Church teaching.

Zogby asked 1,388 American Roman Catholic voters  whether they'd vote for a Catholic political candidate if he  supported legislation that was in opposition to Church teaching on  specific moral issues. 

80% of Catholics are less likely to support a Catholic  presidential candidate who "voted to allow minors to be transported  across a state line for an abortion in order to evade parental  notification laws in another state." 

Also according to the Zogby poll, only 23% of Catholics favor stem cell research, 12% support not protecting the unborn, 10% favor same-sex marriage and only 6% oppose parental notification.

Only 1 in 5 Catholic respondents said that issues "other than those of a religious nature" would take  priority in their choice of a candidate.

See the Zogby poll at: http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2004/5/emw128303.htm

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