Trump polls ahead of Biden among Catholic voters with shift in Hispanic vote — By: Catholic News Agency

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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 2, 2024 / 15:26 pm (CNA).

Former President Donald Trump is polling more than 10 points ahead of President Joe Biden among Catholic voters, thanks in part to increasing support from Hispanic Catholic voters, according to a recent Pew survey.

Overall, Pew has Trump leading by only 1% among the general voter population. His support among the Catholic demographic, however, shows noteworthy signs of growth compared with 2020.

According to the latest Pew Research Center poll, which was taken April 8–14, Trump leads Biden among Catholics 55% to 43%. The 12% lead is a significant increase from 2020, when Catholics voted in favor of Trump by just 1%, 50% to 49%. 

Chad Pecknold, a theology professor at the Catholic University of America and an expert on the American Church, told CNA the Hispanic Catholic shift is what stands out most in Pew’s latest poll. 

Hispanic Catholics, who make up approximately 40% of the U.S. Church, continue to favor Biden, but at a much smaller margin, 49% to 47%. This is a serious decline in Hispanic Catholic support for Biden. A similar Pew poll taken a month before the 2020 election showed Hispanics favored Biden by an overwhelming margin of 67% to 26%. 

This comes as Pew projects Hispanics to make up a record-high 14.7% of all eligible U.S. voters this election season. 

“Democrats are experts at harvesting ‘identities’ for votes, so it’s important to pay close attention when they fail,” Pecknold said. 

“They [Hispanic Catholics] were once reliable votes for Democrats, but they are now splitting down the middle. What this suggests is that, despite their best attempts at buying their votes through political favors, Democrats are losing one of the identity groups they’ve worked hardest at keeping.” 

Meanwhile, Trump’s lead among White Catholics has also grown, currently at 61% in favor of Trump to 38% for Biden, compared with 57% to 42% in 2020. 

Nevertheless, both Biden and Trump currently hold high unfavorability ratings among Catholics. According to Pew, only 35% of Catholics hold a favorable view of Biden while 64% have an unfavorable view. Trump, meanwhile, is also viewed unfavorably by a majority of Catholics (57%) and favorably by 42%. 

Though he is the second Catholic president in U.S. history, Biden has sparked outrage among many Catholics for invoking his Catholic faith to support abortion. Cardinal Wilton Gregory, archbishop of Washington, D.C., recently criticized Biden on national television, saying he “picks and chooses” elements of the Catholic faith to follow.

Pew’s data reveals a marked difference in political affiliation between Catholics who attend Mass at least monthly or more and those who do not.

Regardless of ethnicity, among all Catholics who attend Mass monthly or more often, 61% identify with the Republican Party or lean Republican. This includes a majority (67%) of both white Catholics and Hispanic Catholics (52%).

Biden’s most significant polling lead is among atheist voters, a demographic he leads by 76 percentage points, 87% to 11%. He also holds very large leads among Black Protestants (77% to 18%) and agnostics (82% to 17%). Biden leads among religiously unaffiliated voters 69% to 28%, which is very similar to his support in this demographic in 2020.  

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