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EWTN News and RealClear Opinion Research have partnered to conduct a deep-dive poll on Catholic voters’ attitudes and trends ahead of the 2020 election. This is the first in a series of four opinion research polls that will be conducted over the next year to chart an understanding of where Catholics stand on issues surrounding the Church, politics, and American culture.

“The mission of EWTN News is to inform Catholics globally about the events in the world and where we stand as a Church in the United States.  At this critical moment we need to have a clear picture of the political opinions and general habits of Catholic citizens. We see this poll as part of a service to not only the Catholics in America but also to the universal Church,” said Michael P. Warsaw, Chairman and CEO of EWTN Global Catholic Network.

Overall, the new poll finds that Catholics are open to reelecting President Trump, have noticed a decline in religious tolerance in America, and are disappointed with how the Church has handled the sexual abuse crisis.

Some key highlights from the poll:

  • 53% of Catholic voters said they are open to voting for Pres. Trump in the 2020 election.
    • Including 34% indicating that they plan to vote for Pres. Trump in 2020.
    • He is lifted by the 64% of active Catholics who are open to voting for him.
  • 69% of registered voters generally and 71% of Catholic voters specifically agree that people are becoming less tolerant of religion in America today.
  • Nearly 6 in 10 Americans (58% voters generally and 61% of Catholic voters) agree that religious values should play a more important role in our society
  • Catholic voters specifically had a significantly higher approval of how Pope Francis has handled the Church’s recent sex abuse scandal (44%) compared to how U.S. Bishops have handled the scandal (30%).
  • Pres. Trump’s overall job approval among all Catholics is at 44%, and he trails every major Democrat contender in head-to-head matchups a year out from the election.
  • Of the Catholics likely to vote in the Democratic primary, 29% would vote for Joe Biden24% for Bernie Sanders; all other candidates in single digits.

“There is still much more to learn in the coming polls over the next year, especially in understanding more about the active Catholics and the key issues of our time, including abortion, secularism, religious liberty, and the polarization of American politics and life,” wrote Matthew Bunson, Executive Editor for EWTN News. “This poll, however, provides a starting opportunity to understand where Catholics stand, what they are thinking, how they are living – or not living – the Catholic faith, and how that will shape their vote and participation in American elections. Link to full article:

John Della Volpe, Director of Polling at RealClear Opinion Research, adds, “The Catholic vote is one of the most critical building blocks of any coalition. In most presidential elections dating back to the 1950s, the one group that is often most predictive of the popular vote winner is Catholics.”

Our inaugural poll shows that while there is certainly a “Catholic vote,” citizens who identify themselves as “Catholic,” yet do not actively practice the faith, tend to align more closely with the general American public. However, Catholics who are more active in their Catholicism in terms of Mass attendance and regular prayer, have different opinions on issues surrounding their Church, politics, and culture– proving they are an important voting bloc for presidential candidates to be mindful of in 2020.


Adults 18 years of age and older residing in the contiguous United States were contacted online (English & Spanish) between 15-21 of November 2019. The sampling size was 2,055 U.S. Registered Voters, including an oversample of 1,223 Catholic voters. It has a credibility interval of Registered voters of +/- 2.38 percentage points and Catholic voters of +/- 2.66 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.