Catholic Super PAC Will Spend for Santorum

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Jan. 6 2012 11:41 AM

Catholic Super PAC Will Spend for Santorum

BARRINGTON, N.H.—Maybe it's a fluke, and my radar for pre- and post-speech voter interviews is buggy. So far, all but one of the voters I've talked to at Rick Santorum events have been Catholics.

It makes perfect sense. In 2008, 38 percent of the voters who turned out for the New Hampshire GOP primary were Catholics—only 31 percent were protestants. The Catholic vote in the Democratic primary was 35 percent, and those voters broke for Hillary Clinton by 20 points; she only won the state by 3. There is, theoretically, a moving mass of conservative Catholic voters, the sort of people Santorum has always tried to win (straining at the limits of blue collar/labor party loyalty), and for the first time ever they have a Republican candidate from the faith.

Advertisement

Do they know it? Catholic Vote, a six-year-old political committee, has endorsed Santorum, with its current president admitting that it should have been done ages ago. Co-founder and spokesman Joshua Mercer tells me that the group's super PAC, the Catholic Vote Candidate Fund, will buy radio ads in New Hampshire (where it has 3,000 members), and TV ads in South Carolina.

"He doesn't need to win New Hampshire, but he can keep up the momentum," says Mercer. "I think that now that he's proven he can win, you're going to see Catholics coalesce around him."

David Weigel is a reporter for Bloomberg Politics

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Talking White

Black people’s disdain for “proper English” and academic achievement is a myth.

Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Gives Fetuses Lawyers and Puts Teenage Girls on Trial

Tattoo Parlors Have Become a Great Investment

Natasha Lyonne Is Coming to the Live Culture Gabfest. Are You?

A Jaw-Dropping Political Ad Aimed at Young Women, Apparently

The XX Factor
Oct. 1 2014 4:05 PM Today in GOP Outreach to Women: You Broads Like Wedding Dresses, Right?
Crime

Operation Backbone

How White Boy Rick, a legendary Detroit cocaine dealer, helped the FBI uncover brazen police corruption.

Music

How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The Secret Service’s Big Problems Were Reported Last Year. Nobody Cared.

Hong Kong’s Protesters Are Ridiculously Polite. That’s What Scares Beijing So Much.

  News & Politics
Politics
Oct. 2 2014 11:01 AM It Wasn’t a Secret A 2013 inspector general report detailed all of the Secret Service’s problems. Nobody cared.
  Business
Moneybox
Oct. 2 2014 12:10 PM Women of America, Here Are the Cities Where You Can Find Marriageable Men
  Life
The Vault
Oct. 2 2014 11:07 AM Mapping 1890 Manhattan's Crazy-Quilt of Immigrant Neighborhoods
  Double X
Doublex
Oct. 2 2014 11:34 AM Alabama’s Insane New Abortion Law Putting teenage girls on trial may finally be too much for the Supreme Court.
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Oct. 1 2014 3:24 PM Revelry (and Business) at Mohonk Photos and highlights from Slate’s annual retreat.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 2 2014 12:04 PM The Audio Book Club Debates Gone Girl, the Novel
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 2 2014 11:41 AM Dropbox Recruiting Video Features Puppets and Data Privacy
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Oct. 2 2014 9:49 AM In Medicine We Trust Should we worry that so many of the doctors treating Ebola in Africa are missionaries?
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 1 2014 5:19 PM Bunt-a-Palooza! How bad was the Kansas City Royals’ bunt-all-the-time strategy in the American League wild-card game?