The Complicated Politics of Abortion
Following Missouri GOP Senate candidate Todd Akin’s controversial comments about abortion, our summary looks at previous public opinion reports on abortion among Democrats and Republicans and in the campaign.
More Support for Gun Rights, Gay Marriage than in 2008 or 2004
Opinions about a pair of contentious social issues, gun control and gay marriage, have changed substantially since previous presidential campaigns. On gun control, Americans have become more conservative; on gay marriage, they have become more liberal.
Shifting Political Winds
Americans’ are less discontent with the federal government but no more ready for political compromise. Views of Congress remain heavily negative, while Obama’s ratings stay positive. On social issues, the public is, for the first time, evenly split on gay marriage, while support for legal abortion, legalized marijuana — but not gun control — have all risen.
Abortion Plays Small Role in Health Reform Opposition
While most Americans oppose government funding of abortion, concern about abortion funding plays only a small role in driving opposition to the health care reform legislation. If anything, opposition to reform has declined, with currently 42% in favor and 39% opposed to the health care proposals in Congress.
Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion
Public attitudes on two contentious national issues — gun control and abortion — have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have largely been driven by shifts in attitudes among men.
Michael Vick Case Draws Large Audience
The Atlanta Falcons quarterback’s legal troubles were last week’s most followed news. Opinions of media coverage of the story showed a sharp racial divide with blacks far more critical than whites.
Broad Support for Political Compromise in Washington
A large majority of the American public thinks the country is more politically polarized than in the past, and an even greater number expresses a strong desire for political compromise. Fully three-quarters say they like political leaders who are willing to compromise, compared with 21% who see this as a negative trait.
A Barometer of Modern Morals
Cheating on your taxes, cheating on your spouse and other questions of right and wrong
Diminishing Divide on Cultural Issues?
Even as divisive policy debates continue, public acceptance of homosexual marriage, adoption and military has increased.