Scholar: Church attendance is a reliable vote predictor

WASHINGTON (AP) - Regular churchgoers tend to vote for Republican presidential candidates, while those who rarely go to church usually vote for Democrats.

Catholic scholar George Weigel says that's been true in the last five presidential elections, and will likely happen this time as well.

Weigel, the distinguished senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, says in this election many Catholics are alarmed at President Barack Obama's policy requiring Catholic employers to insure birth control. He says the Obama administration "has treated the church with contempt and intends to continue doing so."

Republican Mitt Romney is the first Mormon on a major presidential ticket, but Weigel doubts that will disqualify him among Catholic voters. Weigel notes that Catholics have been voting for presidential candidates whose theology they view as "strange" since the nation's founding.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)