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"There are a number of critical divisions among Catholics, including an important divide between ‘social justice' and `right to life' Catholics." This finding shows a majority of U.S. Catholics disagree with the more conservative positions take by the U.S. bishops who "strongly oppose same-sex marriage, abortion and contraception."
The survey also confirms other reports finding that 20% of respondents are now religiously unaffiliated making this the fastest growing group doubling in size since 1990. The majority of the religiously unaffiliated were raised within a faith but left citing a "fading belief in God," or "negative personal experiences with religion." 73% of this group favor President Obama in the election but are less likely than the religiously affiliated to say they are certain to vote.
70% of the 18-29 year old religiously un-affiliated also favor reelection of President Obama.
Regarding political preferences, the religiously unaffiliated, Hispanic Catholics, non-Christians and black Protestants were more likely to support President Barack Obama.
"We are not feeling the full force of their presence at the ballot box," said Jones.
Robert P. Jones, co-author of the report, notes that if younger voters continue to vote in favor of Democrats they would be a replacement for the "New Deal" generation of Democratic voters.
We have a big opportunity here if we can find a way to get younger and religiously unaffiliated voters in the habit of making their voices heard on election day.