Senator Obama showed strength among churchgoers in wins across the Potomac area. But Senator Clinton again demonstrated strength among Catholics in both Virginia and Maryland. Senator Obama won Virginia 64% to 35%, winning the votes of women and of the religiously-minded by significant margins. The margin in Maryland was 60 to 37%, with strength again among women and churchgoers.
But Senator Clinton again had a strong showing among Catholics, winning among weekly Mass-goers in Maryland 49 to 37% and tying Senator Obama among less-frequent attenders. The CNN exit poll numbers were somewhat different in Virginia, with equal appeal to less frequent Mass attendees and Senator Obama carrying the minority who attend Mass every week, 55 to 41%. With the issues of economic distress and war weighing so heavily, there seems to be a growing consensus that Catholic Democrats this year will ultimately support the Democratic nominee whomever he or she turns out to be.
Senator Barack Obama's campaign organization had big wins last weekend in the caucuses in Nebraska, Washington State, and Maine. Subsequently, the Obama Campaign's ground organization surged ahead of Senator Clinton's forces among caucus-goers in the predominantly working class state of Maine.
Exit polling data was sparse for the three caucuses, but last Saturday's Louisiana primary offered a glimpse of a changing demographic for Senator Obama. He won the allegiance of weekly Mass-attending Catholics with a 54% to 43% edge, which approached his overall victory margin of 57 to 36%. The two candidates essentially drawed among the minority who identified themselves as less frequent attendees. Catholics constituted 35% of voters in CNN exit polling.