A recent Zogby poll shows that in key battleground states including Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, Catholic voters are far more likely than the general public to vote for President George W. Bush over Kerry. In Minnesota, for instance, 60 percent of Catholics say they’ll go for Bush, versus 44 percent of all Minnesotans.
Zogby’s Fritz Wenzel sees these numbers as a reflection of Catholic “concern about the legitimacy of the war in Iraq being overridden by ongoing discomfort with Kerry’s stand on abortion.”
It’s telling that the numbers only started to break that way in midsummer, after heavy news coverage of the debate over whether pro-choice Catholics (John Kerry, for instance. Oh, and John Kerry) were fit to receive communion.
Catholics overwhelmingly disagreed with the idea of turning anyone away from the communion rail. But the whole wafer watch, as one priest I know called it, did serve a purpose. The handful of bishops who raised the issue reminded voters that Kerry is “personally opposed” to abortion, whatever that means, but votes in favor of abortion rights. And that, of course, was the whole point.