Religion News Service: In-depth. Impartial. Engaged.

Blogs » Mark Silk - Spiritual Politics

Spiritual Politics has moved: Click here to read the latest posts

Romney’s religious coalition should spook the GOP even more than I thought

Show Caption |


A couple of weeks ago I called attention to a striking graphic from the Public Religion Research Institute that compared the religious layout of the Obama and Romney coalitions with the religious layout of the electorate by age cohort. Short version: Obama's (i.e. Dems) looks like the electorate of the future; Romney's (i.e. GOP's), like the electorate of the past.

But that, it turns out, was based on pre-election survey data. Now PRRI has a similar graphic up with post-election data. And let's just say that the news for the Republicans is even worse. 

For example, pre-election, evangelicals made up 37 percent of the Romney coalition. In the actual vote, it was 40 percent. Meanwhile, the proportion of Nones slipped from eight percent to seven. On the flip side, the proportion of Nones in the Obama coalition bumped up two points to 25 per cent, even as the proportion of Nones in the 18-29 voting cohort jumped from 32 percent to 35 percent. 

Nothing is more stunning, however, than the Catholic youth vote. Pre-election, PRRI found found roughly equal proportions of young Hispanic and young non-Hispanic Catholics: 10 percent of the former versus eight percent of the latter. Post-election, it was 11 percent Hispanic Catholics and just five percent non-Hispanics. By comparison, among Catholic voters over the age of 30, there's less than one Hispanic for every four non-HIspanics.

The Obama coalition was 10 percent Hispanic Catholics of all ages versus 13 percent non-Hispanics. The Romney coalition was 2 percent Hispanic Catholics versus 18 percent non-Hispanics. 

Think of it this way: Not only did the vast majority of Hispanic Catholics vote Democratic but also, the rising generation of Catholic voters is twice as Hispanic as it is non-Hispanic. Bottom line: The GOP's demographic problem is as much with Catholics as it is with Hispanics.

Topics: Politics, Government & Politics


  1. Sure would like to see that graphic show how the entire electorate looks.

  2. “The GOP’s demographic problem is as much with Catholics as it is with Hispanics.”

    The problem is that too many Catholics, especially hispanics, don’t listen to the hierarchy unless the hierarchy says what they want to hear.  Ex.  the bishops reminding Catholics this election to that the contraceptive mandate and other life issues, as well as the freedom of religion issue, outweighed social justice issues in importance.  The Republican platform was more amenable to Catholic values on these items but look at who voted how.

  3. hate to tell you guys, but most “hispanic” “Catholics” are those who are catholic by habit only.
    Most Hispanics who take the faith seriously end up joining born again churches.
    Indeed, it is hard to be a Christian in most of the “catholic” churches where I have lived, so I didn’t object when my sons changed churches.

  4. i see young christians die in the middle east for Jesus, i see them selling out to satan in the usa

  5. I truly believe that ANY Catholic who “takes the faith seriously” would NEVER join a born again church. How could they possibly leave the Eucharist?  If they truly KNEW and were taught what the Eucharist is, how could they EVER stop receiving the True body and blood of Jesus?  After a child’s confirmation, what kind and how much TRUE instructions do our young people receive? This is the heart of the problem with the Catholic church today. Poor and little instruction. When I was young, one would NEVER think of receiving Our Lord in communion if there was the slightest sin they needed to confess. Today, absolutely everyone marches forward to receive. Unfortunately, young people aren’t taught because their parents weren’t taught. Also….if young people are “selling out to Satan in the usa”......then they aren’t true Christians. A true Christian WILL die for Jesus!

  6. Too many “Catholixxs” don’t go to daily Mass, don’t read scripture, don’t pray daily, and are not devotional. therefore, they become secularists and only do what they feel is good and not know. True Catholics would do the exact opposite.

    They are no different than secular Jews.

  7. Wow, Mae, you commented exactly how I see the sad state of our Catholic faith. I can’t remember the last time I heard any of our parish priests even mention confession from the pulpit. I love our priests dearly, but they are too concerned with feel good sermons. We need our priests to speak boldly about sin and apply it to our sinful times we are living in. The people are begging for it.

  8. Whether born again, Protestant or Catholic, most of us are attempting to serve both God and mammon. Few of us will deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Jesus Christ.

    It is not what we profess with our lips that makes us a Christian or Catholic, it is the submission of our own will to the will of God our Father through the revealed teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ….the Sermon on the Mount being foundational.

    Politics are not the solution to any of the moral imperatives of the heart.

    My God, we are powerless without Jesus Christ….“heal us O Lord, and we shall be healed, save us O Lord, and we shall be saved.”

  9. I’ve always believed you can “love a person straight to Hell” and that’s what our Church has been doing ever since Vatican II.  All this “your conscience be your guide” doesn’t work because I’ve never met a person determined to do what they wanted who couldn’t justify their actions with their conscience.  There is an absolute right and wrong and it does pertain to everyone.  I especially feel sorry for people who claim to be Catholic and then support all matter of questionable behavior.  As Al Capone reportedly said on his deathbed, “it’s easier to live your life outside the beliefs of the Catholic Church but much better to die a Catholic”  and then he died.  But how many of us will be granted the grace to reconcile with God and His Church by receiving the last rites like Capone did before we die?

  10. Ann, if you´d like to have a good confession and live in Detroit area, please visit the Slovak Ss. Cyril and Methodius Church in Sterling Heights. The Fathers are excellent, have sound Church teachings in their sermons, confess daily all who are interested, have adoration daily, etc.
    You can also join people in America Needs Fatima in prayers for your great country. Look them up on the net.
    God bless! Vladimir

  11. Two comments come to mind:  First, just because young Hispanics vote Catholics does not mean older Hispanics will in the future.  People tend to become more conservative as they get older.  On the other hand, as people become more dependent on the government, this may change. 

    Second, this is the best thought, from Michael:  “Politics are not the solution to any of the moral imperatives of the heart.”  I read recently about an abortion clinic in NYC that is closing after a local priest prayed outside of it for years.  As the report said, government had nothing at all to do with the closing of that clinic - it was prayer and love that closed it.  It is prayer and love that saves every mother who, against the odds, chooses life.  Will we provide what is really needed?  If we did, we wouldn’t have to worry who was in the White House.

  12. Oh my… make that, “just because young Hispanic Catholics vote Democrat now, does not mean they will in the future.”

Sign In

Forgot Password?

You also can sign in with Facebook or Twitter if you've connected your account to them.

Sign In Using Facebook

Sign In Using Twitter