Catholic comeback helps propel Donald Trump to White House win
By Bradford Richardson - The Washington Times - Thursday, November 10, 2016
Donald Trump bows his head during a prayer at a town hall on July 25 in Roanoke, Virginia. (Associated Press
President-elect Donald Trump must have been saying his prayers on election night, when the political neophyte convincingly won the Catholic vote after having trailed in the crucial demographic for nearly the entire campaign.
Exit polls show that Catholics backed the Republican nominee over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, 52 percent to 45 percent. Surveys leading up to the election indicated the faith group was shunning the New York real estate developer in droves.
Jay Richards, executive editor of the conservative Christian news website The Stream, said he monitored Catholic opinion up until Election Day and noticed a massive shift at the last minute.
“I think it’s one of the most profound demographic shifts that I’ve seen in my lifetime,” said Mr. Richards, who teaches business and economics at The Catholic University of America in Washington.
A Public Religion Research Institute survey in late August showed Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump among Catholics by 23 points, 55 percent to 32 percent. A Washington Post-ABC News poll that month similarly put her lead at 27 points, 61 percent to 34 percent.