Though progressive Catholics have worked hard to convince churchgoers that the Democrats share the church's views on the Iraq war, immigration, and health care, abortion is again turning Catholic voters away from the party, the New York Times reports. As conservative bishops have scolded Catholics like Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden for contradicting the church's teachings, liberals are facing a setback.
Catholics make up a third of the electorate in swing states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio, and appear evenly split. In white, working-class Scranton, Pa., where Biden grew up, abortion remains a key issue—and the opposition of the church often trumps a union endorsement. "People should straighten out their religious beliefs before they start making political decisions," said one churchgoer, who said he'd vote McCain.