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May 31, 1996     The Message
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May 31, 1996

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eMES SAGE 25 years of serving Catholics of southwestern Indiana VOLUME 26 NUMBER 39 May 31, 1996 WEST O.ANE RY EAST DIEM4ERY ................. ,: suadable' Catholics are key voting bloc, says analyst LACKEY thing he has done this year be- the issues and the personalities, cause of media bias on abortion, percent of their funds on poverty ews Service (CNS) -- tad- electorate that cal if this year's race gets close, a told Catholic that, President ! n April of the Ban Act the "dumbest" this year given and the volatil- said the an au- science pro- niversity of Vir- t dUVabest political cause it seems so extreme," said Sabato, noting that usually it is the Democrats who try to paint Republicans as extreme. Sabato spoke May 24 to about 400 journalists attending the Catholic Press Association na- tional convention in Philadel- phia. He said the Catholic voting bloc is big, with 25 million to 30 million Catholics expected to vote this November. Those vot- ers also are concentrated in key Electoral College states, he said. And unlike other voting blocs, he said, they are 'persuadable," meaning that -- unlike other blocs based on gender or racial composition -- they can tip one way or another depending on editor from Jerome W. Schneider, Jasper, regulations in regard to... communi- the consecrated host into the consecrated as intinction." is addressed to Father William Deering, of worship, who recently answered a ques- kneeling and sitting at Mass. , and a response, are printed on page 4. Research Item do you agree or disagree with the following of the leaders of the women's movement for me. agree Diocese Statewide 22% 26% 42% 39% 22% 21% 10% 10% 04% 04% "Catholics tend to identify with the Democratic Party's heart -- they're very intent on providing social welfare for those in need, which the Repub- licans strongly oppose," said Sabato. "But they also identify with the Republican Party on certain social issues including not excluding others -- but in- cluding abortion." He also noted that the Catholic vote used to be more heavily Democratic but now is more evenly split, due to factors such as the rise in annual in- comes among Catholics. Currently, Clinton holds a 2- 1 margin among Catholics when compared to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, said Sabato. "But I don't think that's going to hold. He (Clinton) may win the Catholic vote, but I can't imag- ine him winning it by that mar- gin," he said. For Dole to make inroads in the Catholic vote, said Sabato, he'd be well advised to choose a Catholic running mate. Dole also should stress issues like Clinton's veto of the partial- birth abortion ban, said Sabate, noting that Dole "hit home" by raising the issue the previous day in his speech to the CPA. Dole's comments on the veto brought an angry response from Clinton, but Sabato said the veto makes Clinton look bad. "I think that's one reason why he (Clinton) got so emotional yes- terday because he knows Dole probably has him on that one." Sabato said any candidate also has to know how to cater to the news media, but he said Dole is at a disadvantage be- Noting surveys that 85 per- cent of the secular media sup- ports legal abortion, Sabato added, "And they're not just pro- choice -- they're intensely pro- choice, particularly women jour- nalists." Sabato cautioned that despite Clinton's 20-point lead in the polls, the possibility of a major upset cannot be eliminated. Clinton's popularity is "very, very thin," said Sabato, adding that an economic downturn or a foreign policy disaster could change the calculations. But Dole has his own mi- nuses, said Sabato, chief among them that he's "a radio candi- date in a television age." Dole speaks on values Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole preached the gospel of tra- ditional values to the Catholic Press Association, telling church journalists the fall presidential election will be a referendum on the country's basic values. "We (public officials} must speak not just for innovative policies but for enduring values like family, work, responsibility and tolerance," said Dole. Dole criticized Clinton for his veto of the Partial-Birth Abor- tion Ban Act and pledged to sign a similar bill into law if elected president. Dole also tied traditional val- ues to school choice, and he mentioned his proposal for a "charity tax credit," which would allow taxpayers to earmark a portion of their taxes to private charities- including religious charities -- that spend over 75 relief. Clinton sends comments President Clinton declined an invitation to address the Catholic Press Association na- tional convention but praised Catholic journalists' profes- sionalism and commitment to examining moral issues. In a message read to the con- vention by CPA president An- thony Spence in Philadelphia May 24, Clinton acknowledged "some painful and sobering is- sues upon which we disagree." But, he said, "there is much more we hold in common."