ONCE A RELIABLE DEMOCRATIC constituency, Catholic voters are seen as a key swing bloc by many political observers. The campaigns of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are making efforts to attract and energize their kind of Catholic voters: those motivated primarily by abortion, and those who see in the last four years a turning away from caring for society’s most vulnerable and marginalized.
Biden speaks frequently about his own faith, while his campaign has messaged using “values” language into outreach aimed at traditional Democratic cohorts, such as women, Hispanics and LGBT people. The Trump campaign regularly highlights the president’s opposition to abortion as a reason for why he deserves the support of Catholics and evangelical Protestants, while the president himself was praised by New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan in a campaign-style conference call with Catholic school leaders and in a subsequent interview on Fox News.
In other election-related news, the University of Notre Dame, citing coronavirus safety concerns, has cancelled a presidential debate scheduled for September 29. Look for the next issue of Conscience in early fall, when we will explore issues Catholic voters face in this fall’s US elections.