NewsMax.com's Fr. Michael Reilly says the GOP is banking on Catholic support to help President Bush win reelection.
With recent polls showing that churchgoers are far more likely to vote Republican, the GOP is making an unprecedented effort this year to reach out to Catholics.
'President Bush had significant success in winning Catholic support in 2000, and Republicans across America were able to build on that success in 2002,' Republican National Committee Chairman Chairman Ed Gillespie said recently.
This week the RNC begins its Catholic Outreach Tour with events in Kansas City and St. Louis, Missouri.
The effort consists of ten events in five states over four days and features prominent Catholic Republicans such as Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, Rep. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, Rep. Mark Kennedy of Minnesota, Rep. Joe Knollenberg of Michigan, former Major League Baseball Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, and leading Catholic author and speaker Deal Hudson.
According to Chairman Ed Gillespie, 'The Republican trend among Catholics was reflected even more strongly among church-going Catholics. Catholics across America have responded to President Bush's leadership and his efforts to build a more compassionate America and ensure that human life is protected.'
Typically polls reflect that religious Catholics are much more likely to vote Republican because of cultural and social issues. The Catholic vote is widely seen a key element to capturing electorally rich swing states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin.
The Chairman has committed the party to "working with the Catholic community to ensure that priorities important to Catholics become a reality, including the President's faith-based initiative and his efforts to build a more compassionate America by helping people in need through continued job creation."
This week's Catholic Outreach Tour marks a major step in that direction.