Politics Both sides scramble to lock down Catholic swing-state voters

13:50  24 october  2020
13:50  24 october  2020 Source:   washingtonexaminer.com

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With less than two weeks to go until the election, both the Trump and Biden camps are pushing hard to lock down Catholic voters in the upper Midwest.

Joe Biden wearing a suit and tie talking on a cell phone © Provided by Washington Examiner

The region, which is home to a disproportionate number of Catholics, propelled President Trump to his 2016 victory by only a slim majority. Field operatives say that the phenomenon is likely to repeat itself in 2020 and that members of the faith group vote will be the deciding factor in the election.

Patrick Carolan, director of Catholic outreach at the Vote Common Good, an organization working to drive voters to Joe Biden, said he’s “cautiously optimistic” about the success of the group’s ground operations in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin. Along with the Biden campaign, Carolan has made the case that the former vice president’s personal faith will make him a president who leads with integrity.

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Nabarro pointed to the collateral damage that lockdowns are having worldwide, especially among poorer populations. “Just look at what’s happened to the tourism industry, for example in the Caribbean or in the Pacific, because people aren’t taking their holidays.

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At the same time, the Biden camp has worked hard to push against the Trump-driven narrative that Biden is a “fake Catholic” because of his permissive position on abortion. Earlier in the cycle, Catholic opponents of Trump made the case that the president’s endorsement of the death penalty, as well as a series of other stances deemed to be out of line with Church teaching, made Trump’s embrace of the anti-abortion cause insincere.

Several leading Catholic bishops have endorsed this view as well, advising Catholics that while abortion is an important issue, it should not be the only one they consider when deciding between Trump and Biden. San Diego Bishop Robert McElroy said in an October interview with America that Catholics should look beyond abortion to issues such as climate change, racism, and the coronavirus pandemic.

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"The United States Constitution was designed to give the voters one chance to have their voice heard on who serves on the Court. They have to find a way of undermining support for the nominee without seeming to attack her Catholic faith or personal background - moves that could risk turning off some

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“To say that abortion is the pre-eminent issue in a particular political season is to reduce the common good, in effect, to one issue,” he said. “And that’s a distortion of Catholic teaching.”

The division among bishops on Trump’s relationship to the anti-abortion movement, Carolan said, has been a major factor in helping suburban, mostly white Catholics feel more comfortable with voting for Biden.

“It gives Catholics permission not to vote for Trump,” he said.

Still, both Trump and Biden operatives acknowledge that most voters have, at this point, made up their minds, and what matters now is driving turnout. The Trump camp believes that it has several edges over Biden in this respect, most prominently Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s impending confirmation to the Supreme Court.

Barrett enjoys popularity among all Catholics, as well as the electorate more broadly, and after her nomination, polling showed that Trump closed the gap with Biden in some swing states.

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See early voting for an analysis of voting in swing states . Swing states , also called "battleground states," are states in which neither the Republican nor Democratic candidate has a clear majority of the voters ' support prior to a Presidential election

“Barrett could beat both Trump and Biden if she were running,” said Tim Huelskamp, a senior political adviser at CatholicVote.org and a member of the Trump campaign’s Catholic outreach advisory committee.

Huelskamp said that in his interactions with voters over the past few weeks, Barrett is frequently cited as a reason for supporting Trump. That, along with issues such as religious freedom, which a sweeping majority of Catholics rate as important, Huelskamp said, leads him to believe that Trump has a good shot in Rust Belt swing states.

One of the most prominent knocks against Biden, repeatedly pushed by CatholicVote.org, as well as Vice President Mike Pence, is Biden’s commitment to renew a long-running Supreme Court battle with the Little Sisters of the Poor, a group of nuns that opposed an Obamacare contraception mandate.

Huelskamp said that the Little Sisters “really rings a really powerful bell” with Catholics, calling Biden’s statement on the nuns, which came after they scored a major court victory in July, a major misstep.

The latest polling on Catholics shows Biden holding a consistent lead over the president, bolstered mainly by people who identify as Catholic but do not practice the faith.

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“I think there is blame on both sides ,” the president said in a combative exchange with reporters at Trump Tower in Manhattan. He said blame for the violence in the city — which also took the lives of two Virginia state troopers when their helicopter crashed — should also be on people from “the left”

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Tags: News, Donald Trump, Catholic, Campaign 2020, Joe Biden, Amy Coney Barrett, Religious Freedom

Original Author: Nicholas Rowan

Original Location: Both sides scramble to lock down Catholic swing-state voters

Where Biden and Trump stand in the polls 1 day out from Election Day .
President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are neck-and-neck in the polls in crucial battleground states like Texas and Ohio. Biden has solid leads over Trump in key states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. It's election eve in the US and former Vice President Joe Biden is leading President Donald Trump in the national polls. Biden also has leads over Trump in a number of key battleground states, but the candidates are neck-and-neck in crucial states like Texas and Ohio.The former vice president has an 8.

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