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THE HISPANIC CATHOLIC VOTE

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 and an oversample of Hispanic Catholics (366 total). Detailed below are findings on Hispanic Catholics’ positions on social issues and the upcoming election.

Abortion
Hispanic Catholics are prochoice. Certain sub-groups express particularly strong support for legal abortion.

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

All Hispanics US Born Hispanics
Hispanic Women
Hispanic Women
of Mexican Descent
62% 69% 67% 65%


Stem Cell Research
Hispanic Catholics, especially those born outside of the US and those of non-Mexican descent, support stem cell research.

Do you support or oppose 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?

All Hispanics Foreign-born Hispanics Hispanics of non-Mexican descent
71% 74% 76%


Death Penalty
Hispanic Catholics, especially women, US-born, and those of Mexican descent, support the death penalty.

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

  Support Strongly Support
All Hispanics 58% 36%
Hispanic men 57% 36%
Hispanic women 60% 37%
US-born Hispanics 64% 40%
Foreign-born Hispanics 50% 31%
Mexican Hispanics 63% 41%
Other Hispanics 53% 31%


Gay Marriage
Hispanic Catholics oppose making marriage of gay couples legal.

Do you support gay marriage?

  All Hispanics Hispanic men Hispanic women
Oppose 63% 68% 57%


Support for Canceling Tax Cuts Among Hispanics
Hispanic Catholics support canceling the tax cuts to protect Social Security and Medicare and improve public education to a greater degree than all Catholics.

Do you support canceling federal tax cuts and using the money to protect Social Security and improve Medicare? Do you support canceling tax cuts to improve public education?

  Total Catholics Total Hispanics
Support Canceling Tax Cuts to Protect Social Security and Medicare 74% 82%
Support Canceling Tax Cuts to Improve Public Education 68% 80%


Bishops in Politics
Hispanic Catholics do not support the bishops using the sacraments as sanctions. US-born Hispanic Catholics and those of Mexican descent are more likely than foreign-born Hispanic Catholics and those of non-Mexican descent to reject the idea that voters have a religious obligation to vote against prochoice politicians.

Do you believe that politicians who are Catholic and who support legal abortion should be denied communion?

  Should Be Denied Should NOT Be Denied
Total Catholics 20% 78%
Total Hispanics 18% 73%

 

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

  Very Important Somewhat Not Very Not at All
Total Catholics 7% 23% 30% 40%
Total Hispanics 11% 20% 33% 33%

 

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

  Yes No Refused
Hispanics 25% 67% 1%
US-born Hispanics 21% 74% 4%
Foreign-born Hispanics 31% 56% 13%
Mexican Hispanics 21% 73% 6%
Other Hispanics 31% 61% 7%


Election 2004
Hispanic Catholics are leaning toward Senator John Kerry in the presidential race.

If the election for the president were held today, would you vote for the Republican George W. Bush, the Democrat John Kerry, or Green Party candidate Ralph Nader*?

  George W. Bush John F. Kerry Ralph Nader Unknown
All Hispanics 30% 47% 2% 20%

 

US-born Hispanics (63% Kerry; 33% Bush) and those of Mexican descent (64% Kerry; 30% Bush) exhibit higher levels of support for Kerry than do other Hispanic Catholics.

*Ralph Nader eventually ran as an Independent candidate for president.

 

 

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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