As we’ve mentioned before, Catholics support same-sex marriage, practice birth control, are every bit as pro-choice as the rest of America, and offer modest support for the administration’s initially announced policy on employer provision of contraception.
John Sides worked through the numbers on the president’s approval rating over the past few weeks. He finds modest Catholic disapproval of the policy, ultimately concluding:
I am looking at a handful of polls and not particularly large samples, especially once Catholics are broken down into subgroups. I haven’t conducted formal tests of statistical significance, and I doubt that many of my findings would emerge as significant, given these small samples. This is why my language throughout the post is tentative. For example, I’ve tried to say that my findings are “consistent with” the theory that the contraception decision led some Catholics to view Obama less favorably; I haven’t said that my findings “confirm” the theory. …
And even if these findings are true, it’s not obvious what real consequence they would have for Obama. The Catholics whose approval rating dropped most precipitously already overwhelmingly disapproved of Obama. It seems unlikely that many of them would have voted for him anyway.