Conscience, a publication of Catholics For Choice, has some eye-opening statistics on the percentage of Catholics who support access to abortion despite the efforts of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. See here. Substantial majorities of Catholics (well over 70%) support access to abortion in cases of rape or where there is a threat to the life or long-term health of a woman. In these respects, the views of American Catholics are very close to the rest of the population. Nonetheless, the Bishops still have substantial political power. Those who concur with the Bishops run into the millions and those who support abortion in some circumstances agree with the Bishops in other circumstances.
Accordingly, Bob Shrum wrote in his book No Excuses, it is unlikely that we will see a Catholic presidential candidate from the Democratic Party for some time to come. A pro life Democrat could not get the nomination, and a pro choice Catholic nominee would confer special bullying power on the Bishops in a Presidential election (as it did in the Kerry election).
David Gibson speculates at dotcommonweal that Andrew Cuomo might be a presidential candidate in 2016. See here. But he does not take into account that Bishops would condemn pro-choice and divorced Cuomo as not being a real Catholic. In Cuomo’s case, there is a benefit that comes from this. Given his support of millionaires, his hard bargains with unions, and his policies that inevitably lead to short changing education, I consider him to be a moderate Republican who ran on the Democratic ticket. It is a shame he rules as the New York governor; it would be worse if he were our President.