Religion and the Latino vote

Three-quarters of Latino Catholics support President Barack Obama's re-election while just half of Latino evangelical Protestants do, according to a new poll from Pew Research Center. Overall, 61 percent of Latinos who attend religious services at least once a week support Obama.This level of Latino support for a Democratic candidate is not unexpected. But I would not have necessarily expected that Latino Catholics who attend Mass at least once a week would favor legalizing same-sex marriage. The poll finds a plurality in favor (46 percent to 37 percent). Meanwhile, the survey said that a majority of white Catholics who attend church services weekly oppose legalizing same-sex marriage (39 percent in favor, 53 percent opposed).Given the increasing proportion of Latinos in the U.S. Catholic Church, this portends a long-term shift in attitudes among churchgoing Catholics. 

Paul Moses, a contributing writer at Commonweal, is the author of The Saint and the Sultan: The Crusades, Islam and Francis of Assisi's Mission of Peace (Doubleday, 2009) and An Unlikely Union: The Love-Hate Story of New York's Irish and Italians (NYU Press, 2015). Follow him on Twitter @PaulBMoses. 

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