Tuesday, 07 February 2012


Ken Berwitz

Earlier today I indicated that the Obama administration's position on forcing Catholic institutions to offer contraceptive and abortion services has the potential to virtually guarantee he will lose the election in November. 

Given how strong that statement is, I think I have to give you a more specific explanation of why I feel this way.  So here it is.

According to the Pew Research center, most Catholics in the USA - 52% as of March, 2011 - believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases (NOTE:  They were not asked about, nor did they comment about, Catholic chuch doctrine.  There is no way to determine how many of the 52% feel Catholic doctrine is correct, and only non-Catholics should have these rights).  

In both 2010 and 2011, Pew finds that 45% of all Catholics believe abortion should be banned in all or most cases.

Let's again be very conservative and assume that

a) none of the 52% who support the legality of abortions believe Catholic institutions should be able to opt out of providing contraception and abortion services, 

b) only about half the 45% who are against abortion feel Catholic institutions should be able to opt out and

c) only half of the remaining 22.5% would not vote for Barack Obama if he tried forcing Catholic institutions to do so. 

That leaves 11.25%.  In reality it probably is much higher, but I am trying to be as conservative as possible so I can show a best-case scenario for Barack Obama.

Now, taking the actual voting pattern of the last election,  let's assume that 54% of these 11.25% voted for Mr. Obama in 2008.  This means Barack Obama will lose 54% of 11.25%, or slightly over 6% of the Catholics who otherwise would have voted for him, which I will round down to 6% even.

What does that mean to the election?  Well, let's look at the total Catholic vote, and then at three key swing states.

Total Catholic vote:  depending on whose estimate you accept, there currently are about 68 - 77 million Catholics in the United States.  Let's take a rough midpoint and put it at 72 million. This comprises about 23% of the entire USA population. 

About 128 million votes were cast for President in 2008.  Assuming Catholics vote in roughly their proportion of the population, they cast 23% of that 128 million vote total - about 29,500,000 votes. 

If we take 6% of that 29,500,000 total, we come to 1,770,000.  So if 6% of Catholics were to switch, then about 1,770,000 votes which would have gone to Barack Obama would instead go to the Republican -- a turnaround of 3,540,000 votes (1,770,000 less for Obama, 1,770,000 more for the Republican = 3,540,000).

That's a lot of votes.

Now let's look at the three key swing states:

-Wisconsin - 29% Catholic:  If 6% of all Catholics switch, about 1.75% of the entire Wisconsin vote will move from Obama to the Republican - a total turnaround of 3.5%

-New Jersey - 39% Catholic:  If 6% of all Catholics switch, about 2.3% of the entire New Jersey vote will move from Obama to the Republican - a total turnaround of 4.6%. 

-Pennsylvania - 53% Catholic.  If 6% of all Catholics switch, about 3.2% of the entire Pennsylvania vote will move from Obama to the Republican - a total turnaround of 6.4%.

As you can see, in these three hotly contested states Barack Obama's decision regarding Catholic institutions, in and of itself, might well be the difference that turns them from winners to losers.  And if you are familiar with how the electoral map shapes up, you must know that if Mr. Obama were to lose Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, his election would be a virtual impossibility.

And let's remember one more time that:

-My estimates are based on very conservative assumptions in favor of  Mr. Obama:  in reality the difference may well be a good deal larger;

-Though I have shown just three states, a good many others are affected as well.

Bottom line:  When I speculate that Mr. Obama may be destroying his chance to win re-election, I mean it. 


NOTE:  In the original blog I based my calculations on the 46% of Catholics who voted against Mr. Obama.  Obviously, I should have used the 54% who voted for him, since those are the votes which would be lost.  Sorry about the mistake:  it is corrected now.

Zeke ..... ..... Nahhhh .... Obamie won't lose that many votes cause he dissed the Catholics. ...... They'll also vote against him because gasoline will be close to $4.00 a gallon --- and with the ethanol subsidy ended last December 31, gas prices are NOT going back down. ..... ..... ObamieKare, increased taxes (already being levied - medical devices ! ! !, tanning, mortgage fees, etc, etc), the economy in the sewer, legions of workers who now have "No Longer in the Work Force" stamped on their foreheads. .... .... IF the Reps can focus resentment against Barack's Boyz payoffs -- Auto Workers, Financial Bailouts, Bankrupt Green Companies (Solyndra, Fisker, Tesla) -- the incredible multibillion waste on those, Chevy Volt fiasco (some 603 sold in January, including Govt and General Electric purchases). ..... ..... Contracts written to pay off Barack's Boyz, while the Gub'mint holds the bankrupt loan. .... ..... ..... A winning Rep platform would proclaim: "Here's how we'll get American companies to invest in new production, and put their $2 trillion cash to work boosting our economy. ..... End crippling anti-business regulations, End useless Global Warming regulations, Reduce entitlements to those who really need it." (02/07/12)

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