Biden’s Catholics Are Not Counting on Him

Biden’s struggles with Catholic voters, bishops creates drag on Democrats

Republican Vice President Joe Biden is caught between a staunch antiabortion position and a staunch pro-choice position in ways that have come to haunt him heading into the 2016 campaign.

In interviews, Biden has been open about his personal views on abortion that often dovetail with his public support of abortion rights. While he was a leading opponent of Planned Parenthood’s practice of providing abortions, he defended the group’s legal ability to do so.

He’s also talked about his past as an advocate of “reproductive justice,” which he believes includes access to contraception in all cases — not just when it’s medically necessary to prevent the spread of cancer or prevent an unwanted pregnancy.

But in a series of recent polls, Biden has found himself falling short of Catholics seeking him out for a vote.

A Monmouth University poll released Friday revealed that a majority of Catholics (53 percent) said they would not vote for him, more than double the 20 percent who said the same about Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president.

This is the worst showing for a sitting vice president since polling in the 2000 election showed Michael Dukakis underperforming white voters. In that race, 49 percent of white voters said they wouldn’t vote for Dukakis; 55 percent of Catholics said the same about him.

A CBS News poll in May found that Biden’s popularity with black Catholics also is in the tank — he was not even the second choice of black Catholics in the poll.

The Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza, who has written a series of pieces about Pope Francis over the last few years, wrote in a Washington Post column earlier this month that these numbers are proof that “Catholics are, in effect, making it clear — to me and all of my Catholic friends, anyway — that they have made up their minds not to support President Obama in 2016 and that they will do everything they can to stop the Catholic president.”

The backlash against Biden’

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