23 Points

09Sep08

Catholic voters are good predictors of national elections, says George Stephanopoulos on the news tonight. He’s right.

“The Catholic vote has been the classic swing vote in American presidential politics. In the last nine Presidential elections, the candidate who won the Catholic vote has won the popular vote nationwide.

The latest ABC News poll shows McCain/Palin leading by 23 points, 59% to 36%, reports George. The story was very different two weeks ago.

Catholic voters, who make up 25% of the American electorate, are currently splitting their vote for president between Barack Obama and John McCain, but are united in their aversion to mixing religion and politics.

What’s the difference? Sarah Palin? Probably. ABC is reporting again tonight on the 20 point swing amongst women, post convention. Perhaps that’s where the big Catholic move is coming from.

“White women have moved from 50-42 percent in Obama’s favor before the conventions to 53-41 percent for McCain now, a 20-point shift in the margin that’s one of the single biggest post-convention changes in voter preferences,” writes ABC’s political analyst Gary Langer. “The other, also to McCain’s advantage, is in the battleground Midwest, where he’s moved from a 19-point deficit to a 7-point edge.”

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