President Bush and his presumed Democratic challenger, Senator John Kerry, are in a virtual dead heat among American Catholic voters, according to a poll released in mid-April by Georgetown University. The survey of 1,001 Catholics found that Kerry drew support from 46 percent, Bush 41 percent. With the poll’s 3 percentage-point margin of error, the two candidates are virtually tied.
Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat who is the first Catholic to be nominated for the presidency by a major party since John F. Kennedy in 1960, holds a slight lead—40 percent to 33 percent—among the 22 percent of Catholic voters who say they are independents. Fewer than 10 percent of Catholic voters said they were undecided.