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. Sniffit

    Blah blah yadda yadda...this is all just a trumped up "controversy" by people who have a special interest platform....just like Arizona State, which gets all its funding detemrined by a Republican Legislature, not deigning to give him an honorary degree and using some fake reason for it (hint: they've given honorary degrees to people far less accomplished...do some research). If they chose a jewish speaker, would people be screaming in the streets about "how dare Notre Dame choose a speaker who doesn't believe Jesus was Christ the son of God!!!" No. They wouldn't. So they can shut up now.

    May 14, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  2. arithmetic is liberal

    Robin May 14th, 2009 12:52 pm ET

    96% of all abortions are done as a form of birth control.

    Proof please.


    What ever happened to condems, the pill, and adoption?

    Why you wicked wicked person bringing up birth control! Didn't you know that God only want you to practice abstinence?

    Also, please share your experience giving birth to an unplanned child, and then giving it up for adoption? Having a part of your ripped away after feeding it with your body for nine months? If that's such an easy thing to do, I'd love to hear your experience with it.

    May 14, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  3. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    And the Pope supports priests who deny the holocast and do nasty things to little children. But HIM they will receive at Notre Dame with open arms.

    Hypocrites!

    May 14, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. George

    Let the Catholics clean up their church before condeming others.

    May 14, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Romelus

    I am going to recommend to my nephew, who was thinking about playing football for Arizina State to forget about it!!!.......If they can take these political stands with the POTUS...he doesn`t stand a chance....The same might go for Notre Dame ....these activities are definitely being discussed by recruits!!!!

    May 14, 2009 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  6. Sue, Georgia

    President Obama, Please, Do not Go. They do not deserve to have you there

    May 14, 2009 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  7. Spuddy In New Orleans, LA

    I live in a predominently Catholic city. Most Catholics here in New Orleans would love for President Obama to speak. New Orleans as in Orleans Parish, which is mostly Catholic voted OVERWHELMINGLY for President Obama during the election. What does that tell you?

    May 14, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  8. Really!?

    I don't believe he should have ever been invited. We will all be judged some day, and I have a lot less to fear than Obama has. He will find out what global warming real means.

    May 14, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  9. Cali J

    I'm so sick of the African-African Americans (Can't be just Americans) introducing race throughout these boards. Obama was voted in because of race. The new trend is Buy Black Only. (That's extreme racism) Does anyone else see this going on here? When racism should be on it's way out, it seems that some of America is very happy about bringing it back in.
    It seems to me that racism in any shape or size will never leave. The Dems have to pay back the GOP, and now the blacks have to pay back the whites.
    Can we ever really fix our country?

    May 14, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  10. Adele

    I listened to President Obama's wonderful speech at ASU last night. People at Notre Dame will greatly benefit by his visit. And I am a catholic as well.

    May 14, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  11. WhoCares?

    I wonder if every Football player that they recruit has to be Pro-Life to able to play on the team?

    Methinks probably not.

    May 14, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  12. ND grad

    The article says SOME Notre Dame Students and alumni have expressed outrage the Catholic school invited Obama to be the commence speaker. Many, maybe most, think it's wonderful. There are on-line petitions of alumni that SUPPORT this invitation. Don't generalize based on the outcry of a few who are angry. One poster said "I could see the university's point if he were speaking on the subject of abortion"...this isn't the University's point! The University invited him. The most vocal critic is some whackjob who has no affiliation with the University at all but decided he needed to move his whole family to South Bend until graduation so he could protest. Yet, actions by people like him are the reason why posters here make ridiculous statements like "they don't teach science anyway." Contrary to what seems like the general impression of Domers among posters, plenty of us have many of the same viewpoints as the President, including those on abortion and stem cell research.

    May 14, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  13. Real Change

    Is the Catholic Church still against capital punishment? I couldn't tell by the way they welcomed George W. (executed more people than any other governor in American histrory) Bush with open arms.

    The Roman Catholic Church in America is allowing a group of right-wing religious activists to take over. Soon these right-wingers will abscond with the word Catholic just like they have with the words Christian and conservative..

    May 14, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  14. skyhawkdriver

    Who conducted this poll??..this prersident swings in the wind in whatever way the polls dictate..the fact that he is being given an honorary degree doesn't speak well for a university with the prestige of notre dame..a degree for what??..being a community organizer??..once again education in this country sinks to a new low..how on earth can a jesuit institution invite someone who supports abortion to speak??..the president should has respectfully declined the invitation

    May 14, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  15. Paul from Kissimmee

    For the liberals against Notre Dame revoking their invite to Obama, answer this. Should Berkley have invited Bush? You have to look at this both ways people.

    May 14, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Andi

    I love the comment by Ann that the 'majority are idiots'. Nice. Do you attend ND, Ann? My guess is, no. If they want to have OUR President speak, and he agrees, so be it. And the person who said '95% of abortions are used as a form of birth control' – where the heck did you get your data? Just because you write it, doesn't make it true, and honey, most intelligent people don't take statements from an anonymous blog as fact. Maybe 95% of YOUR abortions were for birth control, but you are way out of touch with your statement.

    May 14, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  17. Jack Burleson

    Abortion, or in 21st Century-speak "Right to Choose", is still deliberate killing of babies for convenience. No mother will ever forget that she killed her own baby but would like to undo that killing and cannot.

    May 14, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  18. Carl

    Some people just take things a little to far, If you believed in God why are you people carrying on like you are. Every one on this earth do not have the same feeling or idea about the same thing,that is why we was all given a brain to think and come up with your on though.

    May 14, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  19. Peggy - TX

    What would Jesus do?

    Lets consult the only book we have, that attempts to quote him.
    Zero about a Pope being the voice of God.
    Zero about abortions.
    A vast amount about helping the poor.

    I would guess Jesus would not vote Republican.

    May 14, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  20. barry in las vegas

    The Catholic Church’s doctrine is not dictated by polls.but if you are going to show one pole here are the results of a recent Rasumussen Polef which found 60% of U.S. Catholics say the university should not award an honorary degree to the president, and, “Overall, 63% of adults believe it’s important for speakers at graduation ceremonies of religious universities to share the views of the university.” Mr. Obama’s position on abortion is fundamentally different from the view of the Catholic Church, and many regard Notre Dame as the most prominent Catholic university in the United States.

    I thought that another poll showing different results should be known to your readers.

    The real issue here is not so much that he is speaking but that he is being given an honorary degree.

    May 14, 2009 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  21. alvino

    Catholics are a single issue group. It is all about abortion, not about illegal wars, killing innocent civilians, torture, tromping on the constitution, lying, etc.

    May 14, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. VGal

    The same hypocritical catholics who oppose Obama for stem cell research (which will HELP living beings) are FOR BUSH who KILLED THOUSANDS of innocents in Iraq.

    May 14, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  23. Dad of a Diabetic

    Obama is right on Embryonic Stem Cell Research. The question is simple. If we can use a discarded Blastocyst from a fertility clinic to save a little girl from type 1 diabetes, then should we discard the Blastocyst or use it to save the little girls life? I have met an 11 year old girl who has kidney failure from type 1. The Catholic church says that given the choice of letting a young girl die or use embyronic stem cells to save her life, then the little girl has to die. If the people who want to outlaw embryonic stem cells are consistant, then they will have the same stance on people who support birth control methods that can destroy fertilized eggs. Methods such as IUD and birth control pills. If given the choice of letting that 11 year old girl die or using embryonic stem cells to save her, then I side with Obama. I know no cure is certain from stem cells, but that does not change the debate. The Catholic Church says death for an 11 year old is a better option than embryonic stem cell cures. I do not believe that a Catholic ,with a 3 year old type 1, would support their chuch's position.

    May 14, 2009 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Shawn

    My Brother is 53 years old, lives in South Bend Indiana, and has seen a lot in his life. That said ,nothing he said is as wierd as the nut jobs that have invaded the city via walking protests, pulling semis with signs on them, and small airplanes with banners. He says its' as if the kooks have escaped the nuthouse and invaded the university. He told me he is ashamed of the lack of respect shown so far in anticipation of President Obama's arrival. On the other hand ultra conservative Arizona seemed pretty peacful last night when the president gave the commencment at ASU in Tempe AZ.

    May 14, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  25. Dick

    If Notre Dame wanted someone who believes in what they believe to speak at their commencement ceremony, they should have invited a Catholic to speak. What kind of idiot invites someone to speak and then criticizes what they believe in.

    May 14, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
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