Who can a ‘good Catholic’ vote for?

What percentage of Roman Catholics do you think would be unlikely to vote for a candidate with whom they agree on all issues — except abortion?

These are the people for whom abortion is the priority.

The answer, according to a new poll of Catholics by Le Moyne College in Syracuse, a Jesuit school, and Zogby International is…22 percent.

The poll also found that 44% of Catholics believe “a good Catholic” could not vote for a pro-choice candidate. But 53% say a good Catholic could vote for a pro-choice candidate.

Dr. Matt Loveland, a Le Moyne sociologist and a key player on the poll, said “In essence, less than a third of Catholic voters appear to vote solely on abortion attitudes, but those who do tend to favor ‘pro-life’ candidates.”

Loveland also says that most Catholics appear to side with Joe the Plumber over their church when it comes to “spreading the wealth” to support the poor. 38% of Catholics agree, somewhat or strongly, that government policies should favor the poorest over those in the middle and upper classes.

58% disagree. 4% undecided.

Oh yeah, the poll also shows Catholics favoring McCain over Obama, 44.7% to 41.9%.

Gary Stern

Gary Stern covered education in the Lower Hudson Valley for several years during the early 1990s. Now's he back on the beat. He believes that schools are one of the main reasons that people live around here and that educational issues -- from curriculum to financing -- are among the most challenging things that journalists can write about. He continues to be amazed by the complexity of educational jargon. Gary got his B.A. at SUNY Buffalo and his M.A. from the University of Missouri Journalism School (where his master's thesis was about the best ways to cover education). He lives in White Plains with his wife and two sons, who attend public schools.