The polls haven't yet closed here out West but some of the preliminary exit poll data is showing a dramatic shift in Roman Catholic voters in the United States. Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good reports:
A preliminary analysis of National Election Poll data by Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good shows a startling 47-point shift among Ohio Catholic voters from 2000, when these seats were last up for election, to 2006. Pennsylvania and Virginia also show dramatic shifts in Catholic vote to Democrats. The Iraq War and corruption, issues related to a concern for the common good, are being identified as the most important moral issues.
Republicans did a great job of exploiting the Catholic vote in 2004. Several influential Roman Catholic leaders even went so far as to suggest that you couldn't vote for pro-choice Democratic candidates (no such edict was placed on voting for pro-choice Republicans...) and remain Catholic.
Our faithfulness to God cannot be determined by our votes on just one political issue or another. It is tragic that so many have used the abortion issue as a wedge to drive apart people.
What is the common good?
A culture of the common good provides for the health, welfare, and advancement of all people, regardless of race, gender, religion or economic class. This central goal of Catholic Social Teaching expresses our faith's understanding that society functions best when decisions are made with an eye toward what benefits everyone, and not just the few. In the words of Pope John Paul II, the common good refers to the "good of all and of each individual, because we are all really responsible for all."
That is an agenda that all people of faith can buy into.