Roman Catholic likely voters in swing states will be driven to the polls in two weeks by economic issues, according to a new survey from EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research.
Republican candidates across the country have emphasized runaway inflation and soaring gas prices as they compete against Democratic rivals. Beyond a low approval rating of President Joe Biden, the Catholic respondents cited “economy, jobs, inflation, rising interest rates” as their top concern.
“As we approach the final weeks of the 2022 midterm elections, the views of Catholic voters in these pivotal six swing states are coming more into focus,” EWTN News Executive Editor Dr. Matthew Bunson said in a statement provided to The Daily Wire. “The main issue driving Catholic voters are, by and large, related to the economic uncertainty so many are experiencing.”
Approximately 60.6% of Catholics in Pennsylvania, a key swing state with a highly competitive Senate race, consider economic realities the “most important issue facing the country today.” Their counterparts in Arizona and Ohio reflect similar degrees of concern, with 58.5% and 59.8% identifying the economy as a top issue, respectively.
Catholics’ focus on the economy is even stronger in Georgia, Nevada, and Florida, where 67.1%, 64.3%, and 67.6% of voters respectively identified the issue as their top concern.
Among other pressing economic phenomena, retirement savings have plummeted amid a languishing stock market, supply chain issues have limited the availability of consumer and commercial goods, and soaring mortgage rates have impacted housing affordability.
President Biden, a Catholic himself, responded to the most recent inflation data by claiming that his administration is making “some progress” on the matter. The commander-in-chief, however, has repeatedly deflected when pressed about his administration’s role in rising price levels through the passage of multiple spending packages.
The Republicans lead the Democrats by a 16-point margin with respect to trust in handling the economy, according to a recent poll from ABC News and The Washington Post. Indeed, most Catholics in every swing state favored their Republican gubernatorial and Senate candidates, except Pennsylvania, where 50.8% of voters support Democratic gubernatorial nominee Josh Shapiro.
The present midterm election cycle has also been dominated by the issue of abortion following the Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, which was among the strongest conservative political victories in a generation. Democrats have devoted large portions of their war chests toward campaign advertisements emphasizing their opponents’ positions on the sanctity of life.
Large majorities of Catholics in each swing state support regulating abortion to 15 weeks gestation or earlier. When asked if they would support unfettered abortion access through nine months of pregnancy, a position to which Republicans have sought to pin their rivals, the vast majority of Catholics responded negatively.
“It’s also clear that measures to protect the unborn are very popular among likely Catholic voters,” Bunson added, “especially when compared with those who say that abortion should be legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy.”
President Biden has provoked criticism amid his rejection of Catholic doctrine related to abortion. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, he argued that the parameters of the decision should be codified into federal law.