May 14, 2009 - Notre Dame Should Not Disinvite Obama, U.S. Catholics Tell Quinnipiac University National Poll; Attitudes On Abortion Similar Among All U.S. Voters

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U.S. voters say 56 - 31 percent, including 60 - 34 percent among Catholic voters, that Notre Dame University should not rescind its invitation to President Barack Obama to speak at the university's commencement, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Observant Catholic voters who attend religious services about once a week say 49 - 43 percent that Notre Dame should keep President Obama on the program, while Catholics who attend services less frequently say 70 - 26 percent that Obama should speak, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey of 2,041 registered voters nationwide finds.

Protestants are less forgiving of Obama's pro-choice position as all white Protestants say 51 - 33 percent that the President should be allowed to speak while white evangelical Protestants split with 44 percent saying he should speak and 42 percent saying the invitation should be rescinded.

"Neither Americans overall, nor Roman Catholic voters in particular, think Notre Dame should rescind its invitation to President Obama," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "The strongest opposition to the President's appearance comes from observant Catholics, but more of them than not say he should be allowed to speak."

Given four choices on abortion:
  • 15 percent of all voters, including 13 percent of Catholics and 10 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be legal in all cases;
  • 37 percent of all voters, including 37 percent of Catholics and 19 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be legal in most cases;
  • 27 percent of all voters, including 28 percent of Catholics and 40 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be illegal in most cases;
  • 14 percent of all voters, including 16 percent of Catholics and 26 percent of observant Catholics, say abortion should be illegal in all cases.
"What is interesting and often forgotten about the abortion issue is that despite church teachings, Roman Catholics' views on abortion are pretty much the same as all Americans on the issue," Brown added. "As in many cases, the opposition to the President's invitation to Notre Dame comes from more outspoken members of the Catholic community, but does not represent the overall view of Catholics."

From April 21 - 27, Quinnipiac University surveyed 2,041 registered voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 2.2 percentage points.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. For more data or RSS feed - http://www.quinnipiac.edu/polling.xml, or call (203) 582-5201.

15. As you may know, some Catholics are calling for Notre Dame to rescind its invitation to President Obama to deliver this year's commencement address because they say his stances on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research contradict church teaching. Do you think the University of Notre Dame should rescind its invitation to President Obama to give this year's commencement address or not?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Yes                31%    49%    21%    27%    34%    28%    30%    27%    34%
No                 56     41     66     60     51     61     57     60     56
DK/NA              13     10     13     13     15     11     13     12     10
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Yes                30%    31%    31%    32%    30%    29%    33%    25%
No                 57     59     54     54     62     62     53     65
DK/NA              13     10     15     14      8      9     15     10
 
                   CATHOLICS..........  WHITE.............
                          ATTEND SERVS  BrnAgn
                   Tot    Weekly Less   Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Yes                34%    43%    26%    42%    33%    34%    13%
No                 60     49     70     44     51     60     75
DK/NA               6      8      4     14     15      6     12
 
 
16. Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?
                   Tot    Rep    Dem    Ind    Men    Wom    Wht    Blk    His
 
Legal all cases    15%     7%    21%    15%    12%    17%    14%    13%    28%
Legal most cases   37     23     45     39     39     35     38     37     29
Illegal most cases 27     43     16     26     30     24     29     22     13
Illegal all cases  14     22     10     12     11     18     13     21     26
DK/NA               7      5      7      7      8      5      6      8      5
 
                   AGE IN YRS.......    INCOME.............  NoColl Coll
                   18-34  35-54  55+    <50    50-100 >100K  Degree Degree
 
Legal all cases    22%    15%    11%    14%    16%    18%    14%    18%
Legal most cases   29     40     39     36     37     42     36     39
Illegal most cases 23     27     29     26     31     25     27     27
Illegal all cases  23     10     14     17     11     11     16     11
DK/NA               4      7      7      7      5      5      8      5
 
                   CATHOLICS..........  WHITE.............
                          ATTEND SERVS  BrnAgn
                   Tot    Weekly Less   Evngl  Prot   Cath   Jew
 
Legal all cases    13%    10%    15%     6%    10%     8%    33%
Legal most cases   37     19     55     24     32     42     53
Illegal most cases 28     40     18     40     34     31     11
Illegal all cases  16     26      6     23     16     13      1
DK/NA               6      5      5      7      7      6      1
 
TREND: Do you think abortion should be legal in all cases, legal in most cases, illegal in most cases or illegal in all cases?(* Combined High also Aug 2007, Dec 2005 and Jul 2005)
                                                            COMBINED LEGAL
                                                            ALL & MOST CASES
                                                            High    Low
                     Apr 29  Jul 17  Aug 16  May 3   Dec 7  Jul 17  Apr 29
                     2009    2008    2007*   2007    2005*  2008    2009
 
 
Legal all cases      15%     19      21      17      19     19      15
Legal most cases     37      38      36      37      38     38      37
Illegal most cases   27      24      24      26      25     24      27
Illegal all cases    14      14      13      13      14     14      14
DK/NA                 7       5       6       7       4      5       7