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Friday, July 22, 2022

Reality Checking the Recent RealClear/EWTN Survey of “Catholic Mood” about the Midterms

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Reality Checking the Recent RealClear/EWTN Survey of “Catholic Mood” about the Midterms

According to a recent survey of “Catholic voter mood by RealClear Opinion Research in partnership with Catholic-themed television network EWTN,” Catholic voters in America are split over the midterm elections. The July 15, 2022 report from RealClear Opinion Research highlighted the following findings: 

  • Overall, likely voters identifying themselves as Catholic are split nearly evenly in their preference for Congress: 44% indicated support for the Republican candidate in their district, while 43% support the Democrat – with a significant bloc of 13% undecided.
  • Regarding political clashes over gender identity, an overwhelming majority of Catholics (63%-25%) believe that gender was created by God rather than determined by individuals.
  • A high percentage of Catholics, 65%-23%, also acknowledged that abortion conflicts with Catholic teaching.

So among voters “identifying themselves as Catholic,” 25% believe that individuals (rather than God) create gender, and 23% do not acknowledge that abortion conflicts with Catholic teaching. Assuming (and hoping) there is significant overlap among the befuddled survey respondents on these two questions, we can say with some confidence that at least a quarter of the so-called Catholic voters surveyed cannot possibly be Catholic in belief, regardless of what their Baptismal certificates say.

It indicates the tremendous success that the anti-Catholic infiltrators have had since Vatican II.

Unfortunately, the EWTN report on the same survey paints an even worse picture, making it clear that well over a quarter of those “identifying themselves as Catholic” are not actually Catholic in belief:

  • Overall, 20% of Catholics accept all of the teachings of the Church, 35% accept most of the Church’s teachings, and the rest do not accept some of the key teachings [27%], say it has only a minor influence on their lives [15%], or consider themselves to be former Catholics [3%].
  • Only 37% of Catholics go to Confession at least monthly or yearly, while 35% never go.
  • 50% believe in the Real Presence, 38% see the bread and wine as mere symbols, and 12% don’t know.
  • And, 65% of Catholics believe in Purgatory and 77% believe in Hell.

None of this comes as a surprise, and it reflects a tragedy far worse than the disastrous political situation in America: it indicates the tremendous success that the anti-Catholic infiltrators have had since Vatican II. These infiltrators value the fact that they have caused so many Catholics to abandon the Faith altogether, but their most cherished trophy is surely the great number of souls who have left the Faith without realizing it. These “Catholics” not only do their bidding, they also unwittingly bear false witness against the Faith.

But perhaps the most revealing aspect of the survey is the way in which RealClear and EWTN present the answers to two of their most relevant questions: how Catholics would vote in the midterms and whether they approve of Trump. Regarding the first of these questions, EWTN reports:

“Catholic voters are evenly split between the parties as 44% indicate support for the Republican candidate in their district and 43% support the Democrat – with 13% unsure. There is, however, a difference among Catholics when looking at results broken out by how often they attend Mass. Weekly Mass attendees support the Republican candidate in their district by a margin of 47-41%, while those who attend Monthly or Yearly are split 43-42% Democrat and those who attend Less than Yearly or Never support the Democrat candidate 48-40%.”

Those of us who do not reject any Catholic teachings vigorously oppose the Democratic platform.

Although we can credit EWTN for distinguishing between Catholics who attend Mass weekly and those who do not, they did not report the more significant findings from their data:

  • Among those who “accept most/all Catholic teaching,” 53% would support the Republican candidate in the midterms and 38% would support the Democrat candidate.
  • Among those who “accept some Catholic teachings,” the numbers are flipped, with 32% supporting the Republican candidate and 51% supporting the Democrat candidate.

Similarly, whereas both RealClear and EWTN reported that Catholics are split 49-49% in their favorable versus unfavorable view of Trump, their data shows something more significant:

  • Among those who “accept most/all Catholic teaching,” 56% have a favorable view of Trump (and 42% have an unfavorable view).
  • Among those who “accept some Catholic teachings,” 36% have a favorable view of Trump (and 62% have an unfavorable view).

On these two headline questions RealClear and EWTN reported an even split among Catholic voters. As we can see from their data, however, the reality is that respondents who actually believe the Catholic Faith are much more likely to support Republicans in the midterm elections and have a favorable view of Trump; whereas respondents who do not believe the teachings of their professed religion are much more likely to support the Democrats in the midterm elections and have an unfavorable view of Trump.

The RealClear and EWTN reports do not address this self-evident problem that a significant number of the respondents who said they believe everything the Church teaches obviously do not believe even the basic things the Church teaches.

As Traditional Catholics know from anecdotal experience, the survey results would be far more stark if RealClear/EWTN had not combined “those who accept all Catholic teachings” with “those who accept most Catholic teachings.” Those of us who do not reject any Catholic teachings vigorously oppose the Democratic platform, which as of today looks like:

  • Unlimited right to abortion
  • Full promotion of LGTBQ indoctrination
  • Promotion of Critical Race Theory
  • Full support of the Great Reset and the associated destruction of the U.S. economy

Conversely, it is almost certain that there is a striking correlation between those in Chicago who enjoy Cardinal Cupich’s full support and those who embrace these foundations of the Democratic platform.

One might think we could corroborate these anecdotal observations by evaluating the RealClear/EWTN data from those who comprise the 20% of respondents who replied that “I accept all the Church's teachings and that is reflected in how I live my life.” Unfortunately, though, even among that group (the survey’s “most Catholic” respondents) we find:

  • 17% believe that supporting abortion does not conflict with Church teaching (and an additional 6% do not know)
  • 17% believe that “transgender ideology” does not conflict with Church teaching (and an additional 12% do not know)
  • 14% do not believe in the Real Presence in the Eucharist (and an additional 7% do not know)
  • 10% do not believe in Purgatory (and an additional 9% do not know)
  • 10% never go to Confession

The RealClear and EWTN reports do not address this self-evident problem that a significant number of the respondents who said they believe everything the Church teaches obviously do not believe even the basic things the Church teaches. Nonetheless, RealClear and EWTN were comfortable reporting that Catholics were split on the midterms.

Would their leadership face too much scrutiny if they accurately reported that no actual Catholic can come close to supporting the current Democratic platform?

So why would RealClear and EWTN portray such an incomplete and inaccurate vision of Catholic views in their reports? Could it be that the Catholic endorsement still has some weight despite the best efforts of Francis and his collaborators to destroy the Church’s credibility? Could it be that non-Catholics would realize the stunning hypocrisy of pseudo-Catholic Democrats (Biden, Pelosi, AOC, etc.) if RealClear and EWTN actually tried to convey an accurate picture? Would their leadership face too much scrutiny if they accurately reported that no actual Catholic can come close to supporting the current Democratic platform?

In any case, all of this reinforces the importance of Catholics insisting on true Catholic teaching. In the words of St. Pius X (as quoted in Fr. Roussel’s Liberalism & Catholicism):

“The duty of every Catholic is to unquestionably and religiously fulfill, firmly safeguard and profess without timidity, both in private and in public life, the principles of Christian truths taught by the Magisterium of the Catholic Church . . . [Persuaded that] . . . error is approved by non-resistance, and truth is suffocated by not defending her.”

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us!

New at RTV — FRANCIS: Poster Pope of the Great Reset

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Last modified on Friday, July 22, 2022
Robert Morrison | Remnant Columnist

Robert Morrison is a Catholic, husband and father. He is the author of A Tale Told Softly: Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale and Hidden Catholic England.