Abortion Swells Obama's Woes With Catholics

Winning back once-loyal bloc seen as a struggle for Dem
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 7, 2008 9:05 AM CDT
Kathleen Sebelius, the governor of Kansas and a Catholic, is one of Barack Obama's possible running mates.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Democrats are making a major push for Catholic voters, a demographic that decisively chose George W. Bush over the Catholic John Kerry in 2004. To win back a once-reliable constituency, Democrats may offer a convention speaking slot to Bob Casey, the Pennsylvania senator who opposes abortion rights. Even so, the New York Times reports, getting Catholics to vote Barack Obama may be difficult.

Obama fared poorly among Catholics during the primaries: In Pennsylvania, Hillary Clinton outpolled him among that demographic by 40%. Having Tim Kaine, Kathleen Sebelius, or another Catholic as running mate might help slightly, but abortion will remain sticky. The archbishop of Denver, site of the convention, recently called it a "foundational issue," adding that voting for a pro-choice candidate was a sin.