June 4, 2007

White, non-Hispanic Catholics and Democratic Presidential Candidates

Clinton Garnering the Most Potential Support

Where do white, non-Hispanic Catholics stand with regard to the announced and potential Democratic presidential candidates? A June survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press sheds light on this question at this stage of the campaign by measuring name recognition and likelihood of support at the polls. (View a complete discussion of the survey findings and more details on the survey methodology.)

Name Recognition. Among white Catholics, Democratic and Democratic-leaning registered voters are nearly unanimous in saying they have heard of Hillary Clinton (99%) and Al Gore* (99%). Roughly nine-in-ten (89%) say they have heard of John Edwards, while nearly as many (84%) say they are familiar with Barack Obama.

Other Democratic candidates and potential candidates are less well-known; among all Democrats and Democratic-leaning registered voters, 53% report having heard of Joe Biden, 47% of Bill Richardson, 38% of Chris Dodd and 35% of Dennis Kucinich.

Likely Support. Among Democratic and Democratic-leaning white Catholics, Clinton currently generates the most enthusiasm, with two-fifths (43%) saying there is a “good chance” they would vote for her and an additional 34% saying there is “some chance,” figures that are comparable to those seen among Democratic registered voters as a whole. Only 19% say there is “no chance” Clinton would get their vote. About one-in-four white Catholics say there is a “good chance” they would support Obama (28%), Gore (25%) or Edwards (23%), and roughly two-fifths say there is “some chance” they would vote for these candidates. More than one-in-four (27%) say there is “no chance” they would vote for Gore, compared to 19% for Edwards and 15% for Obama.

* Not an announced candidate as of June 4, 2007.