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Catholic Demographic Split on Support for Biden

'Like the rest of the country, the Catholic view of the Catholic president is split...'

(Philip Wegmann, RealClearWire) A clear majority of Catholic voters would prefer that President Biden not return to the Oval Office.

When asked if the president should run for a second term, 58.4% replied “no.” Only 22.2% said “yes.” Rough results, but Biden shouldn’t take them too personally.

According to a recent RealClear Opinion Research survey done in concert with Catholic television network EWTN, these voters would like to see a change in the leadership of both major political parties. Catholics have also soured on Biden’s predecessor, and another clear majority, 63.3%, report that they do not want to see Donald Trump on the ballot in 2024.

The results are telling, given that Catholics were a key demographic in the last presidential election. And while they continue to be a significant subset of the electorate, representing roughly one-fourth of U.S. voters, their views increasingly mirror the concerns of non-Catholics.

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Like the rest of the country, the Catholic view of the Catholic president is split. They might worship the same way on Sunday, but then this demographic diverges over the way Biden does his job the rest of the week.

A slight majority, 51.8%, disapprove of his performance. Another 46.2%, meanwhile, approve. There is a notable difference in intensity of feeling: 47.2% report “strong disapproval” of the president compared to just 14.2% who “strongly approve” of him.

Biden World has had to develop thick callouses to handle overwhelmingly negative polling. In fact, the president has been underwater since last summer, a position that has improved somewhat but not completely. Today in the RealClearPolitics Average, Biden has an approval rating of just 42.4%.

Catholic voters are obviously concerned about the economy like everyone else. Inflation, according to 34.2% of respondents, was the top problem facing the country. The economy and jobs were a related but distant second with 19.7%.

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An overwhelming majority, 53.9%, ranked those intertwined challenges as their top concern. Abortion and immigration tied for a distant third place in the minds of Catholic voters, with 10% each.

Inflation is the defining challenge of the Biden administration. The president has said as much.

His solution: The Inflation Reduction Act, legislation which he declared in the Rose Garden two weeks ago was not just “the single most important legislation passed in Congress to combat” that problem, but also “one of the most significant laws in our nation’s history.”

The problem for the president is that Catholics don’t share that faith. A weaker dollar has brought them pain, with 41.9% reporting that it has affected their finances “a great deal.” Another 39% say inflation has affected their wallets “some.”

A clear plurality, 41.1%, point the finger at Biden and his administration for this issue, while 31.7% said it was fault of the global slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Just 9.4% believed that consumer prices were increasing because of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A pessimistic but indecisive 15.5% reported the problem was “all of the above.”

Catholic voters do not believe that Biden’s prescription will tackle the problem anytime soon. Some 45.5% reported having no confidence in the Inflation Reduction Act, the legislation the president celebrated in the Rose Garden, while 14.1% held out hope that the spending package would help “a great deal.”

Adapted from reporting by RealClearPolitics; made available via RealClearWire.
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