DETROIT (ChurchMilitant.com) - An EWTN poll puts Joe Biden in the lead among Catholic likely voters.
The online poll found a majority of Catholic likely voters prefer Biden over President Donald Trump.
Fifty-two percent of self-identified Catholics reported they would vote for Biden, while only 40% went for Trump.
But Biden's lead is principally due to theologically dissident "cafeteria" Catholics, as well as nonpracticing Catholics.
Among Catholics who "accept most/all teachings" of the Church, 50% said they'd vote for Trump, and 42% said they'd vote for Biden.
Sixty-eight percent of those who only accept some of the Church's teachings back Biden. The former vice president has a similar percentage (63%) of support from Catholics who say the Church has "minor/no influence" on shaping their opinions.
Another crucial aspect of the survey is the swing states. According to RealClearPolitics, support for Biden among Catholics in crucial battleground states is within the margin of error — 48% for Biden and 44% for Trump.
The survey asked likely voters their views on the candidates' policy positions and temperaments. Fifty-three percent preferred Biden's policy positions over Trump's, and 59% preferred Biden's temperament.
Biden purports himself to be a Catholic in good standing, despite his support for contraception, legalized abortion, homosexuality and transgenderism.
Biden says he plans to strengthen an Obama-era policy of forcing organizations — like the Little Sisters of the Poor, a community of Catholic nuns — to pay for employees' birth control.
According to the poll, Catholics who are more orthodox in their belief also tend to be more politically conservative, and are more likely to be Republican.
Forty-five percent of those who accept "all/most teachings" identified as Republicans, and 38% as Democrats. But with participants who only accept "some" of Catholic teaching, a majority (56%) identified as Democrats, and only 23% were Republicans.
Likewise, nearly half (49%) of those who accept most or all of Catholic doctrine are either "conservative" (38%) or "leaning conservative" (11%). Twenty-percent consider themselves "moderate."
But those who only believe "some" Catholic doctrine tended to lean Left, with 44% calling themselves either "liberal" (30%) or "leaning liberal" (14%). Twenty-seven percent called themselves "moderate" — a slightly larger share than among the more orthodox-leaning Catholics.
A similar pattern plays out with the secular Catholics, who say the Church has little or no influence on them. Forty-two percent say they're either liberal (33%) or leaning liberal (9%).
The survey of over 1,400 Catholic likely voters was conducted online, Oct. 5–11 — by EWTN and RealClearPolitics.