Morning Buzz | Abortion May Drive More Democrats to the Polls Than Republicans

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Daniel Cox: Abortion May Drive More Democrats to the Polls Than Republicans
In a new piece for FiveThirtyEight, PRRI Research Director Daniel Cox explains why abortion may be driving more Democrats than Republicans to the polls this November. In recent years, Democrats have grown increasingly worried about the possibility that abortion could become illegal. The confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh brought even more attention to this issue, and decreased access to abortion services may also be fueling worries. Cox writes, “There is a growing perception among Democrats that abortion is becoming less available. Nearly half (45 percent) of Democrats said it is somewhat or very difficult to get an abortion in their community, according to a PRRI poll conducted earlier this year, while only about one-third (34 percent) expressed that view in 2011.” Cox notes that Republicans have been uncharacteristically “tight-lipped” about abortion as it becomes a greater part of the Democratic political agenda. He concludes: “The 2018 election will tell us if that strategy comes too late and the abortion issue has given Democratic voters an additional reason to head to the polls.”
Has Robert Mueller Subpoenaed President Trump?
Politico has a theory. A new report from former prosecutor Nelson W. Cunningham recaps several months of reporting on special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice by President Donald Trump. Cunningham believes that the special counsel’s office has subpoenaed Trump to testify before a grand jury and that Trump’s legal team has appealed it behind the scenes. Cunningham writes, “We know that on August 16th (the day after Giuliani said he was almost finished with his memorandum, remember), a sealed grand jury case was initiated in the D.C. federal district court before Chief Judge Beryl A. Howell. We know that on September 19, Chief Judge Howell issued a ruling and five days later one of the parties appealed to the D.C. Circuit.” The anonymous party later requested all 10 circuit judges convene to rule on his appeal, but the only judge to recuse himself was Gregory Katsas, a Trump nominee. A recent PRRI survey shows that 45 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of Mueller, while 39 percent hold a favorable view.
The Road to Election Victory May Be Difficult for Democrats
In a Tuesday appearance on Hill.TV, PRRI Research Director Daniel Cox offered a perspective on the upcoming midterm elections. According to Cox, the roadmap to victory for Democrats is not easy. Cox says, “It was a historically difficult map for them in places like Missouri, Arizona, North Dakota. They’re trying to compete in places like Georgia and Texas, but those are kind of longshots.” Of the Texas Senate race between Republican incumbent Ted Cruz and Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke, Cox notes, “If you look at Texas, in particular, there has been so much tension on this race, but if you look at the polling, every statewide race, the Republican is leading.” Later in the interview, Cox explains why this election may be different from other midterms: “I think if you look at the typical midterm demographics, this one may be a little bit different where you see the groups that don’t historically turnout in midterm elections, people of color, young people, independents may see a little bit higher rates.” Those assertions are backed up by data from PRRI’s recently released 2018 American Values Survey.
Despite Political Stress, Gen Z Votes Less
Generation Z, or young people between the ages of 15 and 21 (the Pew Research Center identifies millennials as those between the ages of 22 and 37), reports more mental health problems than any other living generation. The American Psychological Association (APA)’s annual Stress in America survey found that gun violence, sexual assault claims, and immigration are the main sources of stress for young adults, as reported by CNN.Gun violence is also a top cause of stress across all generations, according to the APA’s survey. Despite the fact that Generation Z’s stressors are bound up with hot-button political issues, however, the APA found that Gen Z is still the least likely age group to vote. According to a survey released this month from PRRI, just 30 percent of young Americans (ages 18-29) say they are absolutely certain to vote in the November midterm elections. In a recent survey from PRRI/ The Atlantic also found that 46 percent of Americans list gun policy as an issue that is more critical to them personally than any other issue.
Sharp Racial and Religious Divide Over Whether President Trump Encourages White Supremacists
Adelle M. Banks, writing at Religion News Service, examines the “sharp racial and religious divide over whether the actions of President Trump are encouraging white supremacist organizations” illuminated by PRRI’s 2018 American Values Survey. Banks focuses on PRRI data that shows that “majorities of the religiously unaffiliated (69 percent), Hispanic Catholics (68 percent), non-Christians (64 percent) and Hispanic Protestants (63 percent) say the president is encouraging white supremacists, compared with fewer than half of white mainline Protestants and white Catholics (43 percent each).” Banks also explores the extent to which white evangelicals and black Protestants believe the officer-involved shooting deaths of African Americans speak to a broader issue with racism and the police. Seventy-one percent of white evangelicals believe these deaths are isolated incidents rather than part of a broader pattern of police treatment of African Americans, compared to 15 percent of black Protestants. PRRI CEO and founder Robert Jones tells Banks, “These two groups actually share a lot in terms of their theological beliefs, their beliefs in the Bible, and it really is the lens of race that kind of refracts those theological commitments and behaviors into really near-opposite directions on questions around race.”

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