This blog continues the discussion that we began with Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009). In 2017, be on the lookout for the next book in this series: Defying the Odds: the 2016 Elections and American Politics.
Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis galvanized abortion-rights supporters--and even the White House--with a dramatic filibuster of a bill that would have outlawed all abortions after 20 weeks. But the latest United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll shows that a plurality of Americans supports a ban on late abortions.Americans favor such a bill by 48 percent to 44 percent.
Support was greatest among Republicans, 59 percent in support, but 53 percent of Americans not affiliated with either major party sided with the GOP. A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, were opposed while only 33 percent were in favor.
The results come a day after Davis, the state senator, captured the imagination of liberals nationwide as she stood for 11 hours to block a Texas measure that would have banned abortions after 20 weeks and placed new restrictions on abortion clinics. In Washington, Democrats have lampooned House Republicans for passing a similar ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy as the latest shot fired in the “war on women.”
But the poll, notably, showed that women supported such a measure in greater numbers than men (50 percent of women in favor; 46 percent of men).
Overall, the survey suggests that the 20-week abortion measure fractures some of the modern Democratic coalition. Among all age groups, it was young Americans--who have regularly sided with Democratic priorities in the age of Obama--who most strongly supported the measure (52 percent). The measure also received the support of 51 percent of white women, both those who are college educated and those who are not.