Catholics for Romney?
It appears that the Mormon (and moderate) Mitt Romney is getting more support among Catholic Republicans than one might think.
'The surprise is that the Catholic candidate, Santorum, is losing the Catholic vote,' says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. 'Among Ohio Catholics who are likely to vote on Super Tuesday, 39% back Romney compared to 33% who support Santorum. Santorum has an advantage among Protestants by a 35%-to-29% margin.'
Romney's advantage among Catholics is within the sampling error. Last week exit polls in neighboring Michigan indicated Romney had an advantage with Catholic voters in that state as well. Both Michigan and Ohio have sizeable Catholic populations....
As a staunchly pro-life Catholic journalist, I've communicated with a number of devout, pro-life Catholics who strongly oppose the Obama administration's anti-life and anti-family actions. The interesting thing is, they're not united in who they're supporting in the GOP presidential primary.
One example is Peter Crumley, a faithful Catholic and longtime pro-life activist whom I've had the privilege of knowing for several years. Peter is supporting Mitt Romney.
"I believe Romney has the best chance to beat Obama," Peter wrote.
"The preeminent issue for me is that of the right to life. I am not well honed on certain nuances of the candidates' positions concerning the subject; however, taking into account what seems possible, I think a Romney presidency affords as much of a realistic hope of limiting abortion as would be the case if [Catholic convert] Gingrich were to win.
"There is more to consider, including that I believe Romney experienced a sincere turnabout while Governor of Massachusetts. I understand that he was truly interested in learning the facts about unborn life, and that when he did, he ceased to be pro-choice, at least in his heart. I base my belief on having read or heard that the key person who briefed him at the time on the matter has since related that Romney sincerely wanted to learn the facts. All things taken into account, I favor Romney."
Obviously not all Catholics who voted for Romney did so for the reasons Peter supports him. In fact, I'd say -- granted, I'm making an educated guess here -- that a majority of Catholics who voted for Romney are not as pro-life as Peter. Not to mention that many pro-life Catholics would no doubt take issue with Peter's support for Romney.
As I mentioned in a recent letter to the editor in The New York Times, "Catholics are a divided lot." And when it comes to secular politics, even faithful Catholics are a divided lot.