The Presidential Election of 2016 will probably be remembered for many things;  one of those elements will definitely be the fact that this election cycle features the largest number of Catholic candidates ever.  Out of all of the currently-announced candidates, seven of them have declared the Catholic faith as their religious affiliation.

As the media concerns itself with Pope Francis' current visit, the media has largely overlooked the unusually large Catholic pool running for POTUS.  According to sources even though 22% of the U.S. population is Catholic, those numbers have never translated into an Oval Office.  One area that has seen a larger number of Catholic politicians is Congress, where currently one-third of the members are Catholic - including leadership positions like Nancy Pelosi and John Boehner - the past and present Speakers of the House.

Of the seven Catholic candidates running for President, six are Republican and one is Democrat.  Here - in alphabetic order - are the Catholics running for the highest office in the country.

  • Jeb Bush

    Raised as a Protestant, Bush converted to Catholicism in 1995 to join his wife Columba who was a life-long Catholic.  Jeb Bush is running as a Republican.

     

    Sean Rayford;
    Sean Rayford;
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  • Chris Christie

    Republican candidate and current New Jersey Mayor Chris Christie is a lifelong Catholic.

    Sean Rayford
    Sean Rayford
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  • Bobby Jindal

    Current Governor of Louisiana, Republican Bobby Jindal was raised in the Hindu religion.  While he was in high school he converted to Christianity, later becoming a Catholic in college.

    Steve Pope;
    Steve Pope;
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  • Martin O'Malley

    The current Governor of Maryland, Democrat Martin O'Malley is also a life-long Catholic.

     

    Scott Eisen
    Scott Eisen
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  • George Pataki

    Republican George Pataki is the current Governor of New York.  His Pro-Choice stance has left him in conflict with his Catholic faith.

     

    Steve Pope
    Steve Pope
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  • Marco Rubio

    Although Florida Senator Marco Rubio has born a Catholic, his family attended The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints between the ages of 8 and 11.  Rubio is a Republican.

     

    Sean Rayford
    Sean Rayford
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  • Rick Santorum

    Perhaps the most devout-Catholic of the group running for President, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has worn his faith on his sleeve and molded his political views to match.  Santorum is a Republican.

    Steve Pope
    Steve Pope
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