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Rustbelt Catholics Put Trump over the Top


GEORGE J. MARLIN

Source:
The Catholic Thing
Type:
Media/Opinion
Date:
11/12/2016

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ABSTRACTRustbelt Catholics Put Trump over the Top - The Catholic Thing | French | Italian | Slovak | Spanish | Portuguese | Search “The Catholic Thing is the kind of little miracle that ripples out to touch lives in powerful ways.” – Archbishop Charles Chaput Toggle navigation Home About Us Archives 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 Events Synod Report 2015 Papal Visit 2015 Synod Report 2014 Canonization File 2014 Daily Conclave Report 2013 For Advertisers Contact Us  Subscribe Donate RECENT COLUMNS » Rustbelt Catholics Put Trump over the Top George J. Marlin » On Electric Light & Elections David Warren » The Revenge of the Bitter Clingers Francis J. Beckwith » In a Time of Strife Rev. Jerry J. Pokorsky » Socratic Reflections on Election Day James V. Schall, S.J. Archives NEWS » Assisted suicide comes to Colorado » Cdl. Burke on Trump » Trump takes Catholic vote More News COMMENTARY » Is Cdl. Sarah being silenced? » Two Marxisms » Pope Francis and President Trump More Commentary NOTABLE » The cuckoo clock » The way of pain » Mary, Queen Mother More Notables TCT Video Can the Religious Right Be Saved? × Can the Religious Right Be Saved? Sacred Spaces The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. × The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C. True Beauty America the Beautiful × America the Beautiful   Rustbelt Catholics Put Trump over the Top George J. Marlin Saturday, November 12, 2016 Note: Everyone is already tired of post-mortems on the election, but it’s long been asked whether there is still a “Catholic vote” in America. George Marlin, one of the few real authorities on the subject, clarifies where there was – and wasn’t – a Catholic factor in Tuesday’s surprising outcome. And if you patiently look them over, he’s got the numbers to prove it. Our last column on this election – promise – for some time to come. – RR In my 2004 book The American Catholic Voter: 200 Years of Political Impact , I pointed out that, historically, Catholics have been a pivotal swing vote determining the outcome of numerous national, state, and local elections. In the 21st-century, however, Catholic demographics have significantly changed. Catholics are no longer a monolithic bloc that casts votes based on the social teachings of the Church. Over 90 percent of Catholic “Greatest Generation” Reagan Democrats have gone on to their heavenly reward and many of their children and grandchildren are no longer practicing Catholics. As a result, generic exit polls, which include large subsets of non-practicing Hispanic and white Catholics, do not properly reflect the views of Church-going Catholics or measure the impact they have in presidential elections. Generic Catholic Vote 1972 – 2016 1972 Nixon 52% 1976 Carter 575 1980 Reagan 47% * 1984 Reagan 61% 1988 Bush 51% 1992 Clinton 44% * 1996 Clinton 54% 2000 Gore 51% 2004 Bush 52% 2008 Obama 55% 2012 Obama 52% 2016 Trump 52% * Plurality Victory Although post-election surveys indicate that Donald Trump carried the generic Catholic vote 52 to 48 percent, the real story this year is about Catholics in the economically depressed Rustbelt states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. In those states, aging churchgoing Catholics are disproportionately represented, because their children and grandchildren have moved to more economically prosperous regions. I have argued for years that if Rustbelt states are closely contested, the one or two percent difference that practicing Catholics can make would determine a presidential election. And that’s exactly what happened on November 8. To be elected president, Donald Trump had to carry at least two Rustbelt states. Democrats scoffed at such an outcome, because Ohio had voted Democrat in every election since 2004, Pennsylvania since 1988, Michigan since 1988, and Wisconsin since 1984. In fact, as the New York Times revealed this week, the Clinton campaign was so confident it would carry Midwestern states, it “ceded the white working-class voters who backed [Bill] Clinton in 1992.” Bill Clinton recommended that Hillary accept an invitation to give the prestigious St. Patrick’s Day speech at Notre Dame University, but the “campaign refused, explaining. . .that white Catholics were not the audience she needed to spend time reaching out to.” Ceding the white working-class Catholic vote and then calling them irredeemable deplorables were fatal mistakes that cost Mrs. Clinton the election. Here are the data that prove it: Ohio Top 15 Catholic Counties Catholic % Gore 2000 % Kerry 2004 % Obama 2008 % Obama 2012 % Clinton 2016 % Putnam 63 23 23 33 23 15 Mercer 61 28 24 27 22 16 Logan 56 32 32 36 33 22 Mahoning 39 61 63 62 63 49 Seneca 38 39 41 48 44 31 Lake 36 31 49 49 48 40 Cuyahoga 35 62 67 69 69 65 Erie 28 41 53 56 55 43 Geauga 28 24 39 41 38 35 Shelby 28 33 29 31 26 18 Hamilton 27 35 47 53 5.......