LOS ANGELES, May 24, 2004 ( – A major poll of 1,388 American Roman Catholic voters shows Catholic presidential candidate John Kerry getting only 20% support among America’s 51 million Catholics on issues where he opposes the Church’s position—with his support on some issues dropping as low as 6%.  On average, 80% of Catholic voters felt that issues of a religious nature would help them make their choice for president.  Kerry received only 23% support from Catholics on the question of stem cell research and 23% on the same sex unions issue. His support dropped to 6% on parental notification for abortion, 10% on appointing pro-abortion federal judges, 10% on same sex marriage, and 12% on protecting the unborn.  Eighty percent of Catholics said they’d be less likely to support a Catholic candidate for president who voted to allow a minor to be transported across state lines for an abortion. John Kerry voted against criminalizing this practice in 1998. A mere 6% said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate with such a position.

A candidate who voted against the Unborn Victims of Violence Act is another hot-button issue for Catholics. The law is aimed at protecting the unborn child of a female crime victim and drew strong support among Catholics with 68% saying they’d be less likely to support a Catholic presidential candidate if he voted against this measure in Congress. Only 12% said they’d be more likely to vote for a candidate who opposed the measure.  John Kerry voted against passage of this bill.

Catholics also heavily opposed a Catholic candidate for president who says he’d only appoint federal judicial nominees who strictly interpreted the Roe v. Wade decision (support for abortions). Overall, 65% of Catholics would be less likely to support a candidate who would use Roe v. Wade as a litmus test for appointing pro-abortion judges. Only 16% were more likely to support that candidate. John Kerry said he would support only pro-abortion judges to the Supreme Court.

A 53% majority of Catholic voters said they would be less likely to support a candidate who voted in favor of stem cell research from harvested human embryos. John Kerry supports stem cell research.

Fifty-five percent of Catholics were less likely to support a candidate for president who voted against passage of the Defense of Marriage Act while 18% said they were more likely to support a candidate who voted in this way. John Kerry was one of only 14 Senators to vote against this bill.

The poll, commissioned by Associated Television News (ATN) and the O’Leary Report, was conducted by Zogby International from a database of Roman Catholic likely voters identified in previous surveys. The poll was conducted April 30 though May 14, 2004 with a margin of error of + 2.7 percentage points. ATN and The O’Leary Report undertook the poll to determine where the Catholic voting bloc stands on issues of utmost important to the Church compared to positions taken by Catholic candidate John Kerry.


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