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The Issues

Catholics & Salient Issues in the 2004 Election

In June 2004 Catholics for a Free Choice commissioned Belden Russonello & Stewart to do a survey of Catholic voters. The survey included 2,239 Catholics who are likely voters, including an oversample of Hispanics (366 total Hispanics). Detailed below are findings on a number of salient issues in the upcoming election.

Catholic Bishops in Politics
The Catholic vote is secular and does not take direction from the Catholic bishops.

How important are the views of the Catholic bishops in the US for you in deciding whom to vote for?

Very
Somewhat
Not Very
Not at all
7%
23%
30%
40%

 

Do you approve or disapprove of Catholic bishops denying communion to Catholics who support legal abortion?

Approve
Disapprove
All
22%
76%
Hispanics
23%
70%
Liberals
5%
94%
Moderates
14%
83%
Conservatives
41%
57%



Do you believe that politicians who are Catholic have a religious obligation to vote on issues the way Catholic bishops recommend?

  Yes No
All 16% 83%
Hispanics 20% 74%

 

Do you believe voters who are Catholic have a religious obligation to vote against candidates who support legal abortion?

  Agree Disagree
All 24% 74%
Hispanics 25% 75%
Liberals 6% 93%
Moderates 16% 82%
Conservatives 45% 54%


Stem Cell Research
Catholics are overwhelmingly supportive of stem cell research.

Allowing scientists to use stem cells obtained from very early human embryos, to find cures for serious diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and Parkinson’s. Do you support or oppose each of the following?

Support Stem Cell Research:

All Hispanics Liberals Moderates Conservatives
72% 71% 86% 76% 60%

 

Death Penalty
Catholics support the death penalty.

Do you support or oppose the death penalty for persons convicted of murder?

Support Death Penalty:

All Hispanics Liberals Moderates Conservatives
71% 58% 55% 76% 75%

 

Physician-Assisted Suicide
Catholics are divided on physician-assisted suicide

Do you support or oppose making it legal for doctors to assist in the suicide of a terminally ill patient?

Support Physician-Assisted Suicide:

All Hispanics Liberals Moderates Conservatives
53% 42% 65% 57% 43%

 

Abortion
Catholics support a women’s right to choose and the majority (53%) self-identify as “prochoice” rather than “prolife” (45%).

Do you agree or disagree that it should be legal for a woman to have an abortion?

Support legal abortion:

All Hispanics Liberals Moderates Conservatives
61% 62% 82% 68% 42%


Catholics for a Free Choice is a non-partisan organization. We do not support or oppose candidates for public office. The poll is an educational tool whose sole purpose is to educate opinion leaders about Catholic attitudes toward social and policy issues.


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