Notably, a plurality of likely Catholic voters (48% to 43%) said that any time during his four-year term that a vacancy occurs on the Supreme Court, including in an election year, the president should nominate someone.
“Like the American electorate broadly, there is no consensus on Amy Coney Barrett's nomination to the high court,” said John Della Volpe, Director of Polling for the Harvard University Institute of Politics who oversaw the polling for RealClear Opinion Research. “Slightly less than half (46%) support the nomination, while the Catholic voters either oppose it (28%) or are waiting to learn more before making a firm decision (27%). Judge Barrett enjoys the support of nearly four-in-five (77%) Catholic Republicans; but only about a quarter (24%) of Catholic Democrats say the same. Breaking from their support for Joe Biden in the November 3 matchup, Catholic Independents support Judge Barrett's nomination by a margin of 11 points – 39% to 28%.”
As in the previous poll last month, this poll also found that Catholics’ major concerns have been shaped by the pandemic, the economy and civil unrest. A majority said the following were major concerns: economy and jobs (73%), coronavirus (68%), health care (67%) and civil unrest (53%). While a majority of respondents did not cite them as a “major concern,” a majority did specify as either “a major concern” or “a concern” Supreme Court appointments, race relations, abortion and religious freedom.
As for protests, while most Catholics (61%) believe that nonviolent protests do more good than harm to the country, an overwhelming majority (82%) believe that protests that turn violent do more harm than good.
In terms of the November election, a majority of Catholics say they support Joe Biden (52%), while four in 10 (40%) support Donald Trump. Nevertheless, the gap narrows significantly in the swing states of Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. In those states Biden leads by four points (48% to 44%), which is within the poll’s margin of error.
The gap also tends to narrow or flip to support for President Trump among Catholics who go to Mass more often, while support for Biden increases among those who attend church less frequently.
Catholic voters are divided on some issues but said they are more likely to support candidates who seek to protect religious freedom (78% to 14%) and are less likely to support candidates who support taxpayer funding of abortion (52% to 34%) or who support abortion at any time during a pregnancy (60% to 28%).
These numbers are even more interesting in light of the fact that by almost 20 points (59% to 41%), Catholics see abortion as “morally wrong.” This opinion was strongest among Catholics who go to Mass at least weekly (71% to 29%).
In addition, to social and political issues, the survey also asked Catholics about their faith. About four in 10 Catholics say they go to confession monthly to yearly, while 60% go less than that or do not go at all. Among Catholics who attend Mass at least weekly, more than two-thirds (68%) say they go to confession regularly.
And while half of Catholics surveyed believe the Eucharist is the true presence of Jesus Christ, the number climbs to seven in 10 (69%) among those who attend Mass at least weekly.