EWTN has recently released the second RealClear Opinion Research poll to focus on the leanings of US Catholic voters ahead of the midterms. The poll, which surveyed 1,581 Catholic voters, found that the faithful desire new candidates on both sides of the aisle, as the majority of respondents suggested that neither President Joe Biden nor former President Donald Trump should run for reelection in 2024.
On the matter of Catholic approval of Joe Biden’s performance as president, the majority of Catholics (52%) disapproved, with 47% citing strong disapproval. Around 46% of Catholic voters approve of Joe Biden, but of these only 14% felt strongly that Biden is doing a good job. EWTN noted that the gap between those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove could be significant for Biden’s chances of capturing the Catholic vote.
EWTN broke down the question of whether Biden should run for reelection by ethnicity. Only 17% of White Catholics said they would support his next campaign, while 62% said they would not. In Hispanic communities Biden’s support is higher at 28%, but still more than half of Hispanic respondents (53%) said he should not run again. He does however enjoy overwhelming support from African American Catholics, 94% of whom said Biden should run again.
On the Republican side, former President Donald Trump has even less support in his bid for reelection. Most Catholic voters (67%) said they do not wish to see Trump on the 2024 Republican ticket. Only 27% said they would support Trump in a new campaign and 10% were unsure whether the former president should run again in 2024.
It is unclear exactly how President Biden’s stance on abortion will affect his sway with Catholic voters. Even though 87% of Catholics responded that they would like to see some level of restrictions applied to abortion, they were solidly split on whether the law should be left up to the federal government (48%) or state governments (46%). Furthermore, they were split on how far restrictions should go. EWTN breaks down the specifics:
“Overall, most Catholics favor restrictions ranging from abortion should be allowed only in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother, 27%; until 15 weeks, when the baby can feel pain, 20%; only during the first six months of pregnancy, 13%; until a heartbeat can detected, 10%; or only to save the life of the mother, 9%.”
While abortion has been thrust to the spotlight of political discussion with the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, only 10% of Catholic voters said it was the most important issue to earn their vote. The topic that a plurality (34%) of Catholic voters said was their biggest concern was inflation, with the economy and employment rate right on its heels at 20%.
Eighty-one percent of Catholic voters said they had felt the impact of inflation in recent months and 41% (the plurality) placed the blame on Biden and his administration. The majority of Catholic voters (54%) also expressed skepticism that Biden’s proposed Inflation Reduction Act would actually reduce inflation.