May 14th, 2009
10:51 AM ET
3 years ago

Poll shows majority back Notre Dame's Obama invite

A new Quinnipiac University poll surveys Catholic voters.
A new Quinnipiac University poll surveys Catholic voters.

(CNN) – An overwhelming majority of Catholic voters say the University of Notre Dame should not revoke its invitation for President Obama to speak at the school's commencement ceremonies this weekend.

In a new survey released by Quinnipiac University, 60 percent of Catholic voters are against rescinding the invitation while 34 percent are for it. Among voters as a whole, 56 percent don't think the Catholic school should take back the invite while 31 percent do.

Some Notre Dame Students and alumni have expressed outrage the Catholic school invited Obama to be the commence speaker because of the president's views on abortion and stem cell research.

About 65,000 people have also signed an online petition protesting the address, saying his views "directly contradict" Catholic teachings.

The poll also surveyed Catholic voters' views on abortion compared to the population as a whole. Among the findings, according to Quinipiac:

-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

According to an analysis from by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, 54 percent of Catholics voted for Obama in 2008, roughly the same percentage as those who voted for President Bush in 2004.

The poll surveyed 2,041 registered voters between April 21-27 and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.


Filed under: Polls • President Obama
soundoff (159 Responses)
  1. Jim in Florida

    This poll suggests that Obama was successful in duping a sizable number of Catholics in 2008. Will it happen again in 2012?

    May 14, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  2. Trent

    I think the Republicans tried their best to "stir the pot". Will the GOP ever stop with dirty politics?

    May 14, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  3. please

    It is really horrible when our schools of higher learning let in differing views – just horrible. We all should be the same, with the same thoughts, same views, same clothes., same hair cut, ...

    May 14, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  4. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Not to offend you Domers or the rest of the Catholic universities, but the President's views on abortion is a stupid reason not to have him give a commencement address.

    May 14, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  5. Tony83702

    The Laws of the United States always trump Catholic teachings, or the dogma of any other religion or sect. That's inherent in our separation of church and state. President Obama is there as the leader of our nation. They should be grateful he accepted the invitation.

    May 14, 2009 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  6. Oh My!

    It's not the poll it's the principle. It's about where you stand and who you stand for. Looks like Jesus is not that important to Notre Dame.
    Were talking about the WORD OF GOD. The church is on a different plane than our government and president. Sorry but it's the truth.

    May 14, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  7. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    The pro-life students should protest Obama's super pro-choice stance by standing up and turning their backs to him during his speech, just like the anti-war students did to the Bush administration. Also protestor with signs are appropriate too.

    May 14, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  8. Lee W. in Raleigh, NC

    The question to me is not whether Notre Dame should rescind it's invitation, but whether President Obama should rescind his acceptance. Those protesting simply don't respect the tremendous honor afforded to their graduating class of having the President of the United States (and that President being Barack Obama) speak at their graduation ceremonies. How very sad!

    May 14, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  9. Lawanda

    nd requested gw bush to speak @ commencment and he promoted war. What cathlic or pope does that? Double standed? This just might be about color.

    May 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Natasha

    First of all this is not for debate on anyone level. It is my ritght as a woman. The other thing is, would that rather teens to continue to do things like leave a newborn in the trash can or something worse. I pray for those who are telling women what to do with their life or decision.I am not for or against abortion, you have been in that person situation to understand. Only GOD can judge.

    May 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  11. Annette

    The University student body and faculty should be honored that the President of the United States will speak to there. I guess if George Bush had gotten an invite, that would have been okay? Yet his record shows he is reponsible for so many precious lives that this country has lost in a senseless Iraq war and I guess it would have been okay with the possiblility that Bush administration supported torturing human life? The double standard needs to stop!

    May 14, 2009 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  12. Hans Brecker, Albany NY

    Who cares? Is this really news? Quick question? How many think Obama should visit Ted Kennedy at his Hyannisport Compound?

    May 14, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  13. kd

    Good Lord, they INVITED him to speak!! If they're mad at anybody it should be the president of Notre Dame who forwarded the invitation to Obama.

    May 14, 2009 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  14. Lynda/Minnesota

    How tiring to have been a young adult during Roe vs Wade and now be forced to redress it over and over again. It is a NON issue brought up by a group of hyprocrits trying to keep the focus off the real issues this country faces. What type of bigot endorses church leadership that has for decades swept the abuse of its young children under the rug while vocally championing the rights of the "unborn"?

    May 14, 2009 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  15. Grammarian

    A lot of conservative Catholics are dupes and shills for the Republican Party. They're dupes, because they don't undertand their own motives.

    May 14, 2009 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  16. Barbara Independent in NY

    I was raised Catholic. I stopped practicing many years ago. In many ways the Catholic Church reminds me of the Republican party–"do as I say, not as I do". I ran into too many hypocrites while a member of the Catholic religion. FYI–many "pro-life" supporters also back wars and torture. Their correct name should be "anti-choice" supporters.

    May 14, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. R in Maine

    Their distinct view is of no significance or consequence.

    May 14, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  18. AIB

    What a Honor to have the Pesident speaking to a Graduation Ceremony. But they are some people who are so narrow minded, cannot see the benefits of having the views of the President. These are just activists with no merit. Teir only goal is top create conterversy and put forward their selfish intersts. We do not have agree in everything. But let's listen each other.

    May 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  19. Fair is Fair

    May 14th, 2009 11:01 am ET

    Not to offend you Domers or the rest of the Catholic universities, but the President's views on abortion is a stupid reason not to have him give a commencement address.
    _________________________________

    Really? Being against abortion is part of the Catholic faith. I wonder how many pro-choice dignataries are asked to speak at Planned Parenthood rallys?

    May 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  20. Dave C - NJ

    The GOP had control for years...why didn't they do anything about abortion?

    It's one thing to take a stance, another to do something about it.

    May 14, 2009 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  21. ANGIE IN PA

    Instead Of worrying about the Unborn why dont they start Worrying about the Kids that are Living that are Homeless,Sick,Starving or Being abused! Go voulunteer somewhere and help the LIVING CHILDREN!

    May 14, 2009 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  22. CNN watchdog

    This is the standard position of the Democraric Party
    There is no right or wrong....only what polls well and what doesn't!
    I'm sure those that support gay marriage have noticed their favorite
    Democratic politicians backtracking as that issue is not polling well!

    May 14, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  23. Shari, NY

    Coming from the horse's mouth: Many of us Catholics do NOT PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH and this applies to both clergy and worshipers. I think it is an honor for any school to have the President at its commencement. President Obama is well educated, articulate and SENSITIVE TO PEOPLE'S BELIEFS. His delivery would no doubt reflect that. Amen!

    May 14, 2009 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Lawanda, I seriously doubt it's about color. With all due respect, if race relations don't improve dramatically in this country, we're all in trouble. Bringing out the race card on every topic surely dosen't help matters at all.

    May 14, 2009 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  25. Leon

    First of all there aren't supposed to be churches anyway, if those so busy protesting Obama would really read the Bible they would knowthat,so anything they have to say is unimportant....they know nothing.
    Second ...where were these people when Priests were abusing children, I saw NO protesting on that matter, I guess doing that sort of thing to a person is OK in the church.
    Seems like they are turning Taliban- type with their unbending and warped sense of reality.

    May 14, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
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