The Catholic Vote in the Election of Donald J. Trump
Douglas Kmiec provides an overview of the factors that explain the surprising Catholic vote victory for Donald Trump in 2016. Although in past modern elections going back to the 1980s, the Catholic vote tracked closely with the overall popular vote in the nation, Trump won 52% of Catholics while only 46% of the national vote. The salience of social issues and a pending appointment to the Supreme Court weighed heavily on many religious Catholics and the Hillary Clinton campaign failed to shed much of the baggage surrounding her candidacy, making special appeals to Catholics much more difficult for her. Close contests in several upper Midwestern states with heavy Catholic populations ultimately decided the outcome of the presidential election in the Electoral College, and Trump’s successes with evangelical and Catholic voters played a huge role.