BY RACHEL DEL GUIDICE
CATHOLIC VALUES COLUMNIST
Catholic values won in big ways across the country in the 2014 midterm elections.
The Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project reports that “Catholics voted for Republican House candidates over Democratic candidates by a 54%-45% margin in 2014 … Voters who report attending religious services at least once a week favored Republicans over Democrats this year.”
Indeed, there was a correlation between those who had regular religious practices in their lives. The Pew Research Center also found that people of the Jewish faith voted more conservatively. “The GOP made headway with nontraditional religious constituencies, among them those of the Jewish faith, historically a Democratic base.”
Not surprisingly, though, the Pew Research Center found little change in voting pattern with those of little or no faith. “The Pew survey found little change in the voting habits of people with no religious affiliation: 69 percent of them voted for Democrats. Although 66 percent of Jewish voters sided with Democrats, the level of support was markedly down compared to the 87 percent of Jewish voters who voted for the liberal party in the 2006 midterm elections.”
An article in the National Catholic Register states that not only did a party win a majority, but the value of life was upheld in a strong way. “With seven newly elected pro-life senators, and a possible eighth in Alaska, once the vote count is finished, the Senate will have a bipartisan pro-life majority, not simply Republican control.”
This pro-life majority is a testament to the fact that Catholic voters actually voted their values.
For example, Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law graduate who ran for a California state Senate seat, lost to pro-life candidate Joni Ernst. Fluke lobbied for government-mandated birth control, boosting her to fame as an icon of the “War on Women” theme.
However, despite the fact that Catholic values had some great wins, it does not mean that the faithful should relax their efforts. “Above all, Republicans will need to decide what they will try and accomplish over the next two years,” said Stephen White in an article on CatholicVote.org. “With Obama in the White House for two more years, and the threat of a Democratic filibuster in the Senate, the GOP can’t get simply impose its will. Will the GOP try and find areas of compromise with the White House? Will they play to their conservative base by “going big” on legislation they know will fail by filibuster or veto? Or will they carefully lay the political and policy foundations that will give the next GOP nominee—whoever that might be—the best shot at winning the White House in 2016?”