Fierce Competition

A new poll of 1,200 white Catholic voters in the Midwestern battleground states of Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Missouri and Wisconsin and in Pennsylvania finds that Catholics respond negatively to the Romney-Ryan economic plan and believe President Obama respects religious freedom and people of faith. Nonetheless, Romney leads with most of these voters, though 12 percent of them, according to the poll, remain up for grabs. Sixty percent described themselves as likely to support a candidate who believed cutting Medicare, education and services for the poor was wrong. “The competition for Catholic votes will be fierce,” said John Gehring, Catholic program director at the Faith in Public Life Action Fund, which commissioned the poll, “but there are clear signs that [Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan’s] draconian economic plan could hurt the G.O.P. ticket.”

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