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New Poll Reveals US Abortion Divide Comes Down to 1 Trait


This article is part of DC Brief, TIME magazine’s political newsletter. subscription here To get stories like this sent to your inbox.

In nearly all religions and in all but five states, majorities of Americans support at least some access to abortion. This is a key finding of a huge new survey of 22,000 people from the Public Religion Research Institute.

But the most telling idea in the poll is the group in which anti-abortion sentiment remains strongest: white Christian nationalists.

At the individual state level, the less likely it was to lean toward Christian nationalism, the more support PRRI found for abortion. StatisticallyIt’s Mississippi on one side and Oregon on the other. Unsurprisingly, this spectrum also overlaps neatly with efforts to protect or eliminate access to abortion.

It’s a quiet chasm, but one that speaks to the underlying threat of white Christian nationalism, which Democrats and more than a few Republicans have been reluctant to confront head-on.

“Clearly, the higher the degree of Christian nationalism among a state’s population, there is a clear correlation in terms of attitudes toward abortion,” PRRI President Melissa Dickman told me this week before the public release of the data. “It shows how clearly Christian nationalist influences are in policy making, which is really stark.”

Only 25% of those who identify as Christian nationalists say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. White Christian nationalists were the most opposed to abortion, with a small percentage of 29% supporting abortion. Hispanic Christian nationalists (34%) and black Christian nationalists (59%) were most supportive of abortion rights. Among those who completely rejected the principles of Christian nationalism, The abortion rights issue has almost unanimous — 93% — support.

The capital has previously been briefed Putting a mark The harmful elements of Christian nationalism—specifically white Christian nationalism—and their bleeding into American politics. The theology that the United States is a uniquely sacred enterprise, whose governance, goodness, and blessing are intertwined, has been used prolifically by some of the country’s most cynical political performers, and to great effect. A politician who can claim to be on a mission from God is not subject to the same level of fact-checking as a politician who relies on mortal rationality.

In states that ban abortion completely, 53% of residents say they still support abortion rights in most or all cases. Quite frankly: this aspect of democracy is not working, and it reveals a huge gap in our understanding of our neighbors.

The threat here extends not only to reproductive rights, but also to the brand of the Republican Party spanning an entire generation. “I’m someone who studies Generation Z, and I’m telling you that Gen Z women aren’t buying anything the Republican Party is selling these days. Part of it has to do with their stance on abortion and gay rights,” Dyckman says.

Nationally, among all Americans, there is a whopping 50 point gap between Democrats and Republicans. 86% of Democrats say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while only 36% of Republicans say the same. To say that the parties operate according to different rules of the game is an understatement. They don’t even work with the same set of rules.

Abortion is shaping up to be a defining issue this campaign season. at recent days interview With TIME, mainly former President Donald Trump Certain It is a new, nihilistic approach in which he pledges to leave it entirely to the states to decide their own levels of abortion access and regulation. But his strongest supporters are cheering crackdowns across red states. Florida, for example, on Wednesday took effect A Prevention on abortions at the six-week mark, ending its stand-alone status as an abortion haven in the South. The closest state Southerners can go to for this procedure is Virginia.

However, as suggested by previous polls and confirmed again by PRRI data, there are only five states left where abortion rights supporters are in the minority: North Dakota and South Dakota at 47%; Arkansas, 46%; Idaho and Utah logged in at 45% support.

In the seven states expected to decide the presidential race – Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin – 64% of residents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases. Even red states are seeing a whiff of goodwill toward abortion rights; 57% of the population there say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, including 59% of women.

For decades, Democratic strategists have treated abortion as a third barrier From a case. Once Roe v. Wade fell, and that ceased to be the case. Members of most religious traditions now view abortion as part of the health care system that should be legal in most or all cases. Of the 16 groups surveyed — including the unaffiliated — only four had a clear majority of rejection of abortion rights. As expected, white evangelical Protestants top the list with 72% saying abortion should be illegal in most or all cases. They are followed by Latter-day Saints, or Mormons, at 69%, Hispanic Protestants say the same at 58%, and Jehovah’s Witnesses at 54%.

But Jews, Catholics, mainline Protestants and Muslims alike are fine with leaving the decision up to patients and their health care providers. This may explain why abortion rights protections, when put before voters, have prevailed at the ballot box every time they have been put there since Dobbs resolution. That’s why most Democrats have decided, heading into November, that abortion is an uncomfortable distraction best left on the shelf. White Christian nationalism and its vocal minority may now be an albatross in American policymaking, but it is also a very useful demagoguery.

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