DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - Every Catholic senator running for re-election in the upcoming midterms is a Democrat. Of the 35 seats up for grabs in November, nine of them are held by Catholic Democrats.
Those Catholic senators include Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Joe Donnelly of Indiana, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Maria Cantwell of the state of Washington and former Clinton running mate Tim Kaine of Virginia.
Two of these races, Indiana and Missouri, where incumbent Senators Donnelly and McCaskill are defending their seats, are considered toss-up races, according to RealClearPolitics.
Donnelly is being challenged by former State Representative Mike Braun, a pro-life Catholic who tweeted the following regarding the Brett Kavanaugh controversy, "This entire process has been an embarrassment to our democracy as Hoosiers watched firsthand how Senator Donnelly's liberal colleagues used uncorroborated allegations to create a media circus designed to smear & destroy Judge Kavanaugh's reputation."
This entire process has been an embarrassment to our democracy as Hoosiers watched firsthand how @SenDonnelly’s liberal colleagues used uncorroborated allegations to create a media circus designed to smear & destroy Judge Kavanaugh’s reputation.— Mike Braun (@braun4indiana) September 28, 2018
In Missouri, pro-abortion Catholic Claire McCaskill is facing off against Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, who announced an investigation into clerical sex abuse in August. Hawley was also one of the attorneys for the craft store Hobby Lobby as the company fought the HHS contraception mandate.
Hawley slammed Sen. McCaskill for her no vote on Kavanaugh on Twitter, saying, "Her refusal to back this pro-Constitution judge & her support for the disgraceful smear campaign against him says just how far she is willing to go to seize power & how eager she is to overturn the 2016 election."
Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed. @clairecmc votes NO. Her refusal to back this pro-Constitution judge & her support for the disgraceful smear campaign against him says just how far she is willing to go to seize power & how eager she is to overturn the 2016 election #mosen— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) October 6, 2018
Pennsylvania, North Dakota and West Virginia are not considered toss-ups but involve Democrat Catholics defending their seats in states that Trump won in 2016. Senator Joe Manchin in West Virginia was the only Democrat in the Senate to vote in favor of Justice Kavanaugh's nomination to the Supreme Court.
RealClearPolitics lists North Dakota, home to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, as "leaning GOP" as of press time, while Pennsylvania, home to Sen. Bob Casey, is listed among the "likely" Democratic victory states.
There are a total of 24 Catholics in the U.S. Senate, 15 of whom are Democrats and nine of whom are Republicans. Pew Research reports that 31 percent of those in Congress are Catholic, over and above the 21 percent of adults in the general population who are Catholic.
What is well-represented by the fact of so many Catholic senators belonging to a pro-abortion party is the proportion of American Catholics who reject the Church's moral teaching on subjects such as abortion and homosexuality.
Some members of the Catholic hierarchy have even reached out to pro-abortion Catholic senators, not to tell them to repent of their support for child killing, but to tell them to support liberal immigration policies. Chicago Cdl. Blase Cupich famously made a phone call to pro-abortion Catholic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in support of DACA, which the archdiocese of Chicago tweeted out thereafter.
Senator Durbin is the same senator who grilled Judge Amy Coney Barrett about her Catholic faith during her 2017 judicial confirmation hearing, asking her, "What's an orthodox Catholic?"