Too Late: Trump appeals to Catholic voters by becoming a Democrat

The final vote counts for an historically contentious election have come in, but President Donald Trump and his supporters aren’t taking the results lying down. 

Despite being labeled as “the most pro-life President ever,” exit polls showed Trump lagging significantly behind Biden in the Catholic vote. Trump, determined to undo what he sees as a fraudulent election, is now trying to retroactively win those Catholic votes back by switching parties. 

“Undoubtedly, it ‘twas my affiliation with the Republican Party that has rendered the Papists hostile,” Trump told reporters in the Queen’s English. “Therefore, I am formallyswitching parties to become a registered Democrat. I pray this assuages the Catholic Americans out there who didn’t vote for me.” 

Catholics have a storied tradition in the Democratic Party after Democrat John F. Kennedy became America’s first Catholic citizen. This set off a wave of Catholic Democratic support, allowing the first Catholic politicians Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden to become elected—the latter rising all the way to the Senate Judiciary Committee. 

Before Trump’s announcement, that same Joe Biden was poised to become the nation’s first Catholic President over the age of 65. But political journalists say he must now face Trump in another election, this time the Democratic Primary. 

“The DNC [Democratic National Convention’s] bylaws are unfortunately very clear on this point. If someone switches parties to the Democrat side before the election is certified, they’re entitled to a retroactive primary vote,” White House correspondent Kamala Harris told us. “Though, I should add that this does not extend to the candidate’s choice of Vice-President, and so Pence is barred from further procedures,” a nuance that Trump readily agreed to.  

Catholic turnout is expected to remain high for the primary, with contentious issues still on the ballot like how much funding to give Planned Parenthood and how long the Little Sisters of the Poor should be in jail. The latter issue in particular is expected to be pushed hard by the Trump campaign in an attempt to paint Biden as soft on crime. 

As long as Biden does not push back on the proceedings, the primary is expected to start up again next week. Thus far Biden has not acknowledged Trump’s party switch, and many fear he is mounting a legal campaign to challenge the legitimacy of Trump’s announcement. If that happens, critics worry the Democratic norms will be even further eroded. 

At press time, Joe Biden agreed to a new Democratic Primary, in which both he and Trump lost to President Bernie Sanders. 

Originally published Dec 13, 2020