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. Jack in Florida

    It is called seperation of church and state.......................he is the leader of our country and is an outstanding speaker...... His invite should stand and those that don't want to attend shouldn't

    May 14, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  2. Steve in CT

    Women should and do have the right to choose. To choose to or not to have unprotected sex. She then lives with the result. But when she caves in to primal instinct and conceives another person's life that life shouldn't be sacrificed to pay for the mother choosing wrongly. Just as if I were to get pulled over for speeding you shouldn't need to pay my ticket the baby shouldn't be made to die for mom's bad decision. And please all the pro-murder people don't say "Rape" or "Incest". as those are such a small % of unwanted pregnancies compared with recreational sex. If you don't cause the issue there won't be an issue.

    May 14, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  3. Robin

    We know full well that if GWB was speaking, there would be war protests and picket signs, and that would be acceptable. They would be using their freedom of speech, since this is the land of the free because of the brave.

    But freedom of speech is not acceptable when it is against Barack Obama. I do not agree with abortion, life begins at conception. Read Psalm 139 if you have any doubts. We have the right to be against abortion just like you left wingers have a right to praise it and love it.

    May 14, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  4. Domenic from Montreal, Canada

    Coming from a non-practicing catholic, don't believe everything your priest tells you. Afterall he is a human being just like everyone else and he too sins from time to time. I don't support abortions, but sometimes we have to accept it in times of grave health issues for both the mother and/or the unborn child. I stand by President Obama when it comes to the abortion issue. Listen to his past speaches on this issue and I'm sure you'll all agree.

    God Bless my American neighbours!

    May 14, 2009 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  5. Laverne

    it is as simple as this, if seeing and listening to the POTUS @ commencement offend you, then don't come, don't show-up and rain on everybody elses parade. Stay home and on the side lines in silence the way you did when little boys were getting molested. I don't understand the catholics, where was the outrage when these priest were destroying children lives, why didn't they stand up then to protest and protect the ones who could not protect themselves since they are so into protection of life? Being pro-life goes a lot deeper than being against abortion.

    May 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  6. Fabian

    More mindless outrage from the religulous right, "you people" get angry over just about everything, don't you? Try this, pray and meditate.

    May 14, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  7. Mamanomia

    Absolutely back President Obama speaking at the fine institution of Notre Dame.. As a senior citizen who opposes abortion but believes in choice (yes, they can co-exist!) I think that it would be a very honorable day for the graduating class to have our president there!! Good luck, grads!

    May 14, 2009 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Lisa B in FL

    I don't know about the rest of you, but I am sick to death of religion of any category being included in any political or government agenda. Separation of church and state has all but evaporated since the religious right wing nuts took over the GOP. And as far as abortion goes, it is legal and will stay legal. If you don't believe in abortion for religious or moral reasons...THEN DON'T GET ONE!

    May 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  9. skyhawkdriver

    The president should not be speaking at the commencement..he should not have even been invited in the first place..whoever made the decision to invite him should be relieved of their job..a president speaking at the commencement at a jesuit university smacks in the face of the seperation of church and state..of course that only matters if the president is a republican..I hope that the protestors are so loud they drown out whatever the annointed one has to say..or they unplug his teleprompter

    May 14, 2009 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  10. gary davis Harbor Oregon

    so Obama is pro choice and the church isn't and this means what? he will be a great speaker and I would be happy to have the president speak any time any were any place ..

    this is america and freedom of speach and ideas is what makes us great. if the church doesn't like it get over it . this is the 21 c .. move with the times or be left in the dark

    May 14, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  11. Sniffit

    @ Oh My!, who said "The church is on a different plane than our government and president. "

    Indeed. And while we're all here on the mortal, physical plane, separating church from state is what allows us to strive to live in peace. Let God sort 'em out later.

    May 14, 2009 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. Patrick - Indianapolis

    "The church is on a different plane than our government and president. Sorry but it's the truth."

    Correct. You can find government in "current affairs" and your silly religion in "mythology"

    May 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  13. Qui-Tam Relator

    ****************************************************************
    For the real news that the main stream media and our government doesn't want you to see go to PBS.ORG FRONT LINE , "The Madoff
    Affair". Do not trust this government, do not trust Wall Street and above all do not trust the Banking Industry they are all corrupt including the main stream media, they have been bought off by the top 1% in this country.
    ****************************************************************

    May 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  14. Correction Needed

    'About 65,000 people'

    No. The petition has actually been signed by 365,000 people, which I'm sure our arrogant administration will simply consider as irrelevant noise. Sad. LIFE is at stake.

    May 14, 2009 11:37 am at 11:37 am |
  15. Audrey

    The administrators of Notre Dame and Arizona State are setting a bad
    and confusing example for their students and graduates. I surmise
    they allowed all of this controversy to bring attention to their schools.
    Unfortunately, it was all negative.

    May 14, 2009 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  16. florida indep

    As I understand it Obama is not a Catholic, ergo is not bound by the teachings and Bulls issued by the Pope. He is not there to give a speach about Birth control methods, all of which are against church doctrine. He will speak about hope and the future of American's college educated youth despartely trying to find a job. Most of those critical of the invitation are conservative card carrying Republicans, that is to say hypocrits, just like the rest of us in one way or another. Whatever you guys, don't mess up the graduation ceremony. It is the grads day not yours.

    May 14, 2009 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  17. CNN watchdog

    It appears your idea of free speech does not include dissent.
    It is time for you to take your press passes and lay them on the graves of Walter Cronkite, or Eric Sevareid, or David Brinkley.
    You no longer have the right to the title "Journalists"
    SHAME

    May 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  18. church v, state

    For all you posters screaming 'separation of church and state,' you're missing the point. This is a private Catholic school, not a random public forum. Catholic school are supposed to uphold Catholic values. Catholic schoold are supposed to stand for truth. You can find secular morally relative opinions elsewhere.

    May 14, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  19. Towanda 54

    Fair is Fair May 14th, 2009 11:23 am ET

    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.

    Lawanda may a point, Fair is Fair. There have been other pro-choice Presidents to speak and Notre Dame and there hasn't been this level of protest or dissent.

    May 14, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  20. nom deplume, esq.

    Perhaps the Board of Regents (or whoever runs Notre Dame) should be replaced by a committee of citizens picked by the Administration.

    Would not be unprecedented under this President. Maybe someone over at 1600 should float the idea.

    May 14, 2009 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. pamewaller

    NOW they protest! No protests when innocent children's lives were being destroyed by predator priests, and I can't remember seeing much outrage about that case in South America where a mother, her child and doctor were excommunicated because the mother chose to have an abortion performed on her NINE-year old daughter who was raped and impregnated, and who the doctors determined would not survive the birth process.

    Meanwhile the rapist is free to take communion, ensconced in the bosom of the Church. Where's the outrage?

    May 14, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  22. Lynn

    How many of these protestors are affiliated with Notre Dame or the Catholic Church and how many are the same people who show up at any opportunity to try to force their religious dogma on others??

    May 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  23. rj

    perhaps if Obama was moles ting young children they wouldn't have a problem with him being invited.

    May 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  24. redleg

    People should remember that pregnancy was a capital offense for certain people during the Third Reich. Can anyone name just one perpetrator that was reprimanded or discplined by his Christian church for taking part?

    May 14, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  25. haskell

    Did you folks ever hear of Lucifer?

    May 14, 2009 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
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