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

Poll shows majority back Notre Dame's Obama invite

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. 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 |
  2. Robert

    Notre Dame needs to decide if it's a real univesity, or a fake one where there's no free speech and everyone just repeats what the Pope/Dictator and his minions tell them. A real university encourages the free, open, respectful exchange and debate of ideas.

    May 14, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  3. Cathy Crosby

    I am stunned by the bigotry and ignorance of those who oppose President Obama speaking at the graduation. They apparently don't grasp the difference between choice and abortion, let alone freedom of thought and speech. I graduated from a Jesuit university and am still recovering from a Church of Popes and priests who can parade passed the scourge of molestation while refusing to even discuss the complexity of issues around CHOICE not abortion, the distinctions of which this president, thank God, senses and sees. They furthermore ignore the history of the Church on this issue. These ignoramuses would ban St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine from speaking if they actually read their works. I'd like to accept that Laetare Medal myself, on behalf of women raising children alone. I'm glad the Harvard snob back out. Cathy Crosby

    May 14, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    you mean a state school whose funding is determined by a GOP majority legislature didn't want to give him an honorary degree and the fundies are using his commencement speach invite as a platform for launching anti-choice yammering? shocker!

    May 14, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. Peter (CA)

    The issue has little to do with Obama and his views. It has much more to do with the right wing's desperation to set the agenda and to "punish" anyone who doesn't think like them.

    It's also about hypocrisy and stupidity, ergo the posts here saying Obama is Muslim.

    May 14, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  6. VGal

    BTW – CHUCK – you make one of the BEST arguments yet... these same Notre Dame fans take on all sorts of pro-choicers and pro-stem cell research when it helps them WIN a football game. They'll recruit anyone.

    May 14, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  7. Kpawlak

    There sure are a lot of hypocrites out there!

    May 14, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  8. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    Unfortunately a large percentage of the majority that backs Obama is made of non working dope smokers. We'll see how they feel when his 4 cent tax on a soft drink and $1600 taxes on engergy hit them later.

    May 14, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  9. Pragmatic

    Maybe the Catholic clergy should look behind and see how many, if anyone is following them .... there's even a term for those who are independent thinking people: cafeteria Catholics.

    This church as a long and bloody history (think Joan of Arc and the Inquisition) and a scandal ridden modern history (priests abusing children and the leaders covering it up – that's not what Jesus meant when he said "suffer the little children..)

    Maybe this organization isn't as relevant as it used to be when the sheeple all followed the shepherd without question... those days are long gone.

    May 14, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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