Sunday, August 26, 2012


As the Republicans’ national convention stands around the corner, media from across the political spectrum forecast the various groups which strategists are trying to reach. We live, after all, in a hyphenated society where candidates appeal to various socieoeconomic niches to attract their voting bloc. Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan seek to capitalize on Catholics’ sensitivities in view of the mandate put forth earlier this year by HHS. The requirement that all private and even nonprofit organizations offer insurance coverage for birth control technology rubs against their prohibition against using such measures. Add to that dissension Pres. Obama’s endorsement of legalizing same sex marriage. “The Republicans have a chance for a different outcome,” Patrick Hobin of NEWSMAX MAGAZINE reports the NEW YORK TIMES as saying. Romney’s selection of Cardinal Timthy Dolan to deliver the convention’s closing prayer show he is committed to reaching out to Catholic voters. In 2008, Gallup reported that Pres. Obama won the Catholic vote by nine percentage points over Sen. John McCain (R-AZ). Having Joe Biden, himself a Catholic as his running mate gave him an air of familiarity with their religious concerns. With Paul Ryan (R-WI) as his running mate, Mitt Romney plans to make even greater inroads. Hobin says, “Catholics make up about a quarter of the electorate and the Catholic vote is generally a bellwether that mirrors the general electorate.” ““We’re going to have outreach to Catholics in a coordinated, organized effort — state by state, diocese by diocese, parish by parish and pew by pew,”” the New York Times quotes Peter Flaherty, a senior adviser to the Romney campaign, as saying. Flaherty, who is Catholic, served as Romney’s liaison to the religious community when he was governor of Massachusetts. A recent Gallup poll shows Romney with a slight edge among Catholics. * Note: Information on the Gallup statics and the quotations from the New York Times come from Patrick Hoblin’s article for NEWSMAX, “GOP Makes Strong Push to Win Catholic Vote”. (August 25, 2012)

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