Donald Trump won the US election because of a significant swing by Catholic voters, according to an influential conservative commentator.
"Well before the campaign reached its final phase, a broad coalition of Catholic lay leaders recognised that Hillary Clinton was an existential threat to religious liberty, and to traditional Catholic values and biblical teachings, such as the right to life and the definition of marriage," says Richard A Viguerie, chairman of ConservativeHQ
In a new paper press released at Christian Newswire, he writes how the 11-point swing in the Catholic vote from Romney to Trump was a key influencer in the top four battleground states of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Florida.
Catholicism is the second largest religious tradition in the United States at roughly 25 per cent of the country's population.
"One of the untold stories of the 2016 election is how Catholic lay leaders used the new and alternative media to fly under the radar screen and, in key battleground states, swing the Catholic vote Donald Trump's way," says Viguerie.
He disputes the assertion that Trump won solely on the votes of rural white people – especially white evangelical Christians.
Although Trump increased the evangelical Christian vote, this was mainly in states where Republicans typically win, he writes.
In fact his victory was one of what he calls "increments" in key states that relied upon adding new voters – disaffected traditional Democrats, African- Americans, Hispanics and especially Catholics.
This meant that of the more than 120 million votes cast in the 2016 election, 107,000 votes in three states, Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania, effectively decided the election.
This happened because the new and alternative media was able to bypass the establishment media to take her views on issues of concern to ordinary Catholics in the pew, directly to those voters.
￼"Joseph Cella, Fr Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, Brian Burch of Catholic Vote, Marjorie Dannenfelser, Matt Schlapp and Mercedes Schlapp, Gov Sam Brownback, Ed Martin, Dr Deal Hudson, Rick Santorum and many other Catholic lay leaders offered advice and counsel and used their own channels to independently tell the story of just how damaging to religious liberty and traditional Catholic values a Hillary Clinton presidency would be," writes Viguerie, a direct marketing pioneer and author of many books including his latest, TAKEOVER, The 100-Year War for the Soul of the GOP and How Conservatives Can Finally Win It.
"In a Hillary Clinton administration, God, the Bible and the First Amendment would be replaced with government-approved 'values' like diversity, political correctness, normalising homosexual marriage and dictating how, when and where Americans could openly practice their faith."
He adds: "A Clinton presidency would declare war on the Christian faith and Hillary Clinton was easily the most pro- abortion candidate ever to run for president."