But all that aside, how do we understand the apparently strong preference for Clinton over Obama? This question brings to mind a distinction a seminary classmate once made between what he called “Real Nuns” (RNs) and “Catholic Career Girls” (CCGs). RNs tend to be the ones in habits, ones who don’t sign petitions in favor of women’s ordination, and who seem to love everything about being Catholic. CCGs tend to wear business suits and are denizens of the CCD Congress in Los Angeles.
Obviously that’s a humorous caricature, but anyone who has spent any time at all in the Catholic Church readily recognizes the general validity of this distinction.
For our purposes, ”RN Catholics” would never vote for either Clinton or Obama, so they’re not included in these polls. Meanwhile, Clinton could almost pass for a CCG herself, and she certainly appeals to that demographic group. She is an “empowered” woman with an unthreatening, Christian-lite Gospel that would attract people who want the compassion without all the doctrine. With apologies to Professor Kmiec, I think Clinton is more of a “Catholic natural” than Obama when it comes to connecting with the religious sensibilities of lukewarm or dissident Catholics.
I think the primary reason is stated before the excerpt above: whites are trending Clinton.