President Trump is in strong shape among Roman Catholic voters who are serious about practicing their faith.
But among categories in America’s largest single faith — ranging from occasional church-goers to non-practicing Catholics — support for the president drops dramatically.
Trump, in fact, loses among non-devout Catholics to all of the major Democratic presidential hopefuls. But among devout practicioners of the Catholic faith, he wins re-election handily.
These are some of the findings of a dramatic new poll of American Catholics conducted by EWTN News and Real Clear Politics and released on Monday.
Running throughout the poll was a consistent theme — that there is a major difference between those who take seriously Catholic faith and doctrine and those who take it more lightly or don’t accept it at all.
The poll found, for example, that 63 percent of devout Catholics support President Trump for re-election. But among “other Catholics”— which range from those who “do not accept some of the teachings” of the Church to outright former Catholics — only 43 percent back Trump.
Among all Catholics, Trump loses to Joe Biden (himself a Catholic) by 51 to 40 percent and Bernie Sanders 50 to 41 percent. Elizabeth Warren defeats Trump among Catholics by 48 to 42 percent and Pete Buttigieg (raised Catholic but now a Protestant) beats him by 44 to 40 percent. Late entry in the race Mike Bloomberg beats Trump by 48 to 39 percent.
Differences on issues are very distinct between devout and more casual Catholics. According to the poll, 71 percent of devout Catholics believe abortion is “intrinsically evil,” 64 percent feel the same about euthanasia, and another 70 percent about physician-assisted suicide.
Among all Catholics, only 47 percent find abortion “intrinsicially evil,” 45 percent say the same about euthanasia, and 41 percent about physician-assisted suicide.
In spelling out the base of American Catholics, EWTN/Real Clear found 18 percent of them “accept all of the Church’s teachings” and 38 percent accept “most of the Church’s teachings.”
13 percent, according to the survey, say the Church “is only a minor influence” in their lives and another 29 percent say they “do not accept some of the key teachings” of the Catholic Church. Two percent call themselves “former Catholics.”
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax. For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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