Was Carter unappealing to Catholics?
       |           

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?
October 04, 2022, 01:17:06 AM
News: Election Simulator 2.0 Released. Senate/Gubernatorial maps, proportional electoral votes, and more - Read more

  Talk Elections
  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion
  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: Dereich)
  Was Carter unappealing to Catholics?
« previous next »
Pages: [1]
Author Topic: Was Carter unappealing to Catholics?  (Read 465 times)
Asenath Waite
Fulbright DNC
Jr. Member
***
Posts: 1,544
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« on: January 13, 2022, 08:05:13 AM »

I wonder if Jimmy Carter struggled with the Catholic vote relative to most Democrats at the time. Anecdotally I know a handful of older relatives, (all of whom are otherwise Democratic leaning) that are northeastern Irish-Catholics who voted for Ford in 76 and either Reagan or Anderson in 1980. I wonder if this partly explains what seems like an underperformance for him in Massachusetts in 76 and outright losing the state in 80. Maybe itís not the Catholic vote per say but specifically a northeastern phenomenon.
Logged
Georgia Democrat in 2022
mollybecky
Sr. Member
****
Posts: 2,649


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #1 on: January 13, 2022, 05:57:18 PM »

Carter did have some trouble with the white Catholic vote.  An article in the NYT from September 1976 indicated that Ford was making a play for Catholics (conceding the Southern Baptist vote to Carter):

https://www.nytimes.com/1976/09/05/archives/ford-hopes-linked-to-catholic-vote-aides-say-appeal-to-group-in-the.html

An anti-South and anti-evangelical sentiment must have played a role.  Carter just didn't perform that strongly in the Northeast suburbs.  He lost CT and NJ and Long Island (which made NY close).  And as you mentioned, his performance in MA (and RI) wasn't all that great.

Logged
RINO Tom
Atlas Icon
*****
Posts: 16,063
United States


Political Matrix
E: 2.45, S: -0.52

Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2022, 09:21:39 PM »

I think people overrate how much being a "Southern Baptist" would have put off non-Baptist voters in that era.  Evangelical Protestantism has practically militarized since then.  For example, I remember reading an interesting article that the assertion on behalf of fundamentalists that Christian tradition maintained that the Earth was only a few thousand years old and other interpretations were "backtracking" was originally only associated with the Seventh Day Adventists, yet Evangelicals adopted it militantly in the 1980s and beyond.  Just one example, but I think as the nation has become more secularized, so too have Evangelicals become more radical and intolerant of more traditional Christian diversity in thought.

All of this is to say that I don't think a Catholic Democrat would have seen voting for Carter as any more objectionable than voting for LBJ.  According to the NYT, Carter won White Catholics 52-46%, with no nominee after him doing as well with that group.
Logged
Joe McCarthy Was Right
Rookie
**
Posts: 132
United States


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2022, 12:10:03 AM »

In 1976, I would say no. It would probably be a more accurate characterization to say that Ford appealed to moderate Republicans in the northeast (the group of voters that were sometimes called "Rockefeller Republicans"). Outside of that, you don't see as much of an effect. Carroll County IA voted for Carter more than it did Humphrey.

In 1980, I would say yes. It's possible Ted Kennedy's run in the primaries killed enthusiasm for Carter within that group.
Logged
SInNYC
Jr. Member
***
Posts: 998


Show only this user's posts in this thread
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2022, 10:54:26 AM »

I think people overrate how much being a "Southern Baptist" would have put off non-Baptist voters in that era.  Evangelical Protestantism has practically militarized since then.  For example, I remember reading an interesting article that the assertion on behalf of fundamentalists that Christian tradition maintained that the Earth was only a few thousand years old and other interpretations were "backtracking" was originally only associated with the Seventh Day Adventists, yet Evangelicals adopted it militantly in the 1980s and beyond.  Just one example, but I think as the nation has become more secularized, so too have Evangelicals become more radical and intolerant of more traditional Christian diversity in thought.

Evangelical schools in the 70s were already teaching that the earth was created in 4004 BC, based on Ussher's calculations. I know this from personal experience and I would qualify it as "militantly", at least in the south, though I dont know  about the 60s or earlier.

Back to the original post, I think New England was in general suspicious of southern evangelicals, who had not been involved in national politics before. In 1976 they had to swallow their concerns if they didnt want to vote R, but they had an out in 1980 with Anderson, and Anderson did best in the northeast.
Logged
Pages: [1]  
« previous next »
Jump to:  


Login with username, password and session length

Terms of Service - DMCA Agent and Policy - Privacy Policy and Cookies

Powered by SMF 1.1.21 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines

Page created in 0.034 seconds with 12 queries.