New Zogby Poll on Catholic Voting Trends
As the saying goes, "There are Lies, there are Damned Lies, and there are Statistics."
A few notes:
"Interestingly, . . . American Catholics seem to judge the merits of stem cell therapy more on the basis of the source of the stem cells, than on the therapy itself."
Isn't this what the Church has been saying all along?
"Although more Catholics are saying they don't want to vote for Bush, Kerry hasn't given them a reason to vote for him," said Susan Behuniak, professor of political science at Le Moyne. "Bush is losing support, but it isn't helping Kerry."
"More liberal views are held by younger and more educated Catholics while those who attend mass more frequently and self-identify as Republican hold more traditional views."
I also wonder who they allow to identify as a Catholic. Presumably, it's a self-identification. Which means, of course, that someone who was baptized as a Catholic in 1962 and hasn't darkened the door of a church since could easily be included on this poll. In other words, what we're measuring is the impact of Church teaching on those who aren't listening to it. Which makes more sense of the data.
Like it or not, these polls have an impact on public and ecclesiastical polity which far outweighs their actual significance. If 61% of American Catholics want the Church to become more 'democratic' in its decision-making, we probably need to address the fact that the Church is probably already more democratic than we realize. Take, for example, that most of the organizations which have as their goal the lobbying of the Church hierarchy, both on the left and the right, draw from an armory which consists mostly of statistics and poll results. How effective they are, I think, remains to be seen.
# posted by Jamie : 10:14 AM