Election 2008


Clinton Focuses on Pennsylvania's Catholic Electorate

March 31, 2008 11:50 AM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Pennsylvania’s Catholics could sway the state’s April 22 primary. The group has already shown strong support for Clinton.

30-Second Summary

Catholics account for some 30 percent of Pennsylvania’s population.

A recent poll conducted by Quinnipiac University shows Hillary Clinton is ahead by 70 percent among Pennsylvania Catholics, with Barack Obama polling at 24 percent.

The Catholic Review
wrote that, as of Feb. 24, despite little fanfare, Clinton had won the Catholic vote in all but two Democratic primaries.

Clinton has devoted much of her Pennsylvania campaign to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre corridor, where the population is largely working class and Catholic.

Clinton’s apparent willingness to reschedule her campaign and march in the Wilkes-Barre St. Patrick’s Day Parade has resonated with local voters, writes Richard L. Connor, editor and publisher of Wilkes-Barre, Pa., paper The Times Leader. “Her skills go way beyond the good sense to honor parochialism. She understands voting blocks. Winning in Northeast Pennsylvania is important.”

Given that both candidates are pro-choice, they have focused their campaigns on social issues such as health care. University of Scranton student Chris Molitoris changed his party affiliation to Democrat so he could vote for Obama.

"I'm pro-life, but I don't want to look at just the pro-life issue alone to determine the quality of the candidate. I've taken more of, I guess, a holistic approach,” he told the Associated Press.

Catholic voters did something similar in the 2004 election, which saw Catholic candidate John Kerry run on the Democratic ticket.

John Kenneth White, a political scientist at Catholic University, said in an April 2004 NPR interview that Kerry’s social justice platform could be a draw for Catholics who do not take a literalist approach to their faith.

Headline Link: ‘Catholic Vote Critical for Dems in Pa.’

Background: The 2008 Catholic vote

Historical Context: Catholicism in U.S. politics

Opinion & Analysis: Clinton’s background resonates with Pa. voters

Reference: The Democratic race and the Catholic vote

Related Topics: ‘Romney Discusses Mormon Faith’


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