Democrat Joe Biden's chances of defeating President Donald Trump may depend on whether he can court enough Catholic voters to back him.
A Catholic, Biden has caught plenty of heat from the religious right for his stance on abortion — he is opposed to the practice personally, which aligns him with conservatives, but publicly he feels that Roe v. Wade is the law of the land and that it should not be overturned.
Biden has been outspoken about the internal struggle he has regarding abortion, concluding in his 2007 book "Promises to Keep" that while he may be against the practice, he doesn't believe he has "a right to impose my view on the rest of society."
According to McClatchy, Biden's campaign is courting white Catholic voters as he seeks to unseat Trump on Nov. 3. If he's able to garner enough support from Catholics in the Rust Belt, he could be victorious.
"Persuadable Catholics tend to be multi-issue voters. That's who we're really targeting," the Biden campaign's deputy political director John McCarthy told McClatchy.
"Between emerging Catholic populations in Florida, Virginia, and Texas from Latinos and with the vice president's unique ability to outperform with white working-class voters in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, that combination will allow us to win the Catholic vote overall."
Trump earned 52% of Catholics' votes in 2016, compared to Democrat Hillary Clinton's 45% support, according to the Pew Research Center. Approaching this election, however, the numbers are trending toward Biden.
The results of a recent poll released by EWTN News/RealClear Opinion show that Biden leads among Catholic likely voters, 53% to 41%.
McClatchy interviewed multiple Catholics who said they voted for Trump four years ago but have decided to back Biden this year because, as one voter said, Trump does not "treat people with respect and kindness that Christianity tells us to."
The Wall Street Journal noted Thursday, meanwhile, that Biden is only the fourth Catholic to be a presidential nominee from a major party. The others were also Democrats: Al Smith (1928), John F. Kennedy (1960), and John Kerry (2004).
One Catholic voter told the Journal that she will vote for Biden. "There are so many other issues that are pertinent to the population at this time," she said. "I can't make one issue the reason for casting a vote for someone who doesn't represent my faith."
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