Earlier this afternoon, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson addressed the press from Rome during a live news conference from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. to highlight a new poll conducted for the Knights of Columbus by Marist College. The poll, which oversampled more than 800 Catholics nationwide, tackled a wide range of issues and produced some of the most detailed polling data ever collected on the Catholic electorate.
Here is the news release from the Knights issued earlier...
Poll shows major differences between practicing and non-practicing Catholics.
A just-completed nationwide poll provides new insights into America’s Catholic voters, highlighting the ways in which they differ from the electorate as a whole. But the survey also examines in detail the ways in which the 65 percent of Catholics who practice their faith regularly differ from the 35 percent who do not.
The poll was conducted for the Knights of Columbus by the Marist College Institute of Public Opinion between September 24 and October 3, 2008.
In some areas, the poll finds that Catholic voters’ views are similar to the general population, on issues like government funding for the poor, amnesty for illegal immigrants, global warming, civil unions and same-sex marriage and a belief that the economy is the nation’s number one problem. 70 percent of all registered voters and 70 percent of all registered practicing Catholics say they would vote for a candidate who believes marriage should only be between a man and a woman, including majorities of the electorate and of practicing Catholics who would "definitely vote for" such a candidate. Catholics and non-Catholics agree that America needs a moral makeover. 71 percent of all US residents and 73 percent of US Catholics believe that “the country’s moral compass right now points in the wrong direction.”
But in other areas, Catholic voters differ from the electorate as a whole. They are less likely to vote for a candidate who favors the death penalty, and more likely to favor a candidate who is committed to success in the war in Iraq.
Some of the most dramatic differences are found within the community of Catholic voters. 59 percent of practicing Catholics are pro-life, while 65 percent of non-practicing Catholics are pro-choice. Non-practicing Catholics are far more likely to be pro-choice than the population at large (65 percent vs. 50 percent). Only 30 percent of US residents favor same-sex marriage, while 46 percent of non-practicing Catholics do. 75 percent of practicing Catholics oppose same-sex marriage.
Parental notification if a daughter under 18 is planning to have an abortion is supported by 77 percent of U.S. residents, and by 84 percent of practicing Catholics.
For a copy of Supreme Knight Anderson's presentation on the results of the poll, click here.
For a copy of the entire poll's detailed questions and responses, click here.