A PROGRESSIVE VOICE FROM THE LLANO ESTACADO

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Public Opinion On Recent Court Decisions

Last week the Supreme Court announced three decisions that Americans had been eagerly awaiting -- decisions that could well have a big effect on the future direction of this country. The court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and Proposition 8. DOMA had denied equal rights from the federal government for those in same-sex marriages, and Prop 8 had banned same-sex marriages in California. The court also gutted the Voting Rights Act by declaring Section 4 of that law (which designated the states and localities that must get pre-clearance before changing voting rules or re-districting) was outdated, and therefore not valid.

Progressives hailed the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions as victories, and were horrified at the gutting of the Voting Rights Act. Reaction was just the opposite at the other end of the political spectrum -- as right-wingers hailed the VRA gutting as a victory, and were horrified by the DOMA and Prop 8 decisions. But the biggest question was -- what do the majority of Americans think about the decisions?

An ABC News/Washington Post Poll (done between June 26th and 30th by surveying a random national sample of 1,005 adults -- with a margin of error of 3.5 points) sought to answer that question. If the poll is accurate (and I believe it is), then the majority of Americans agree with the progressives on all three of these decisions (see the chart above) -- showing that this country is not nearly as right-wing as Republicans want to believe.

And these opinions cut across most demographic lines, with only conservatives, Republicans, and elderly Americans significantly disagreeing with the three court decisions. Here is the demographic breakdown -- with those approving of the decision being the first number given, and the percentage disapproving being in parentheses:

MEN
DOMA...............52% (45%)
Prop 8...............45% (51%)
VRA...............37% (51%)

WOMEN
DOMA...............60% (36%)
Prop 8...............57% (40%)
VRA...............30% (52%)

18 to 39
DOMA...............67% (30%)
Prop 8...............61% (33%)
VRA...............36% (48%)

40 to 64
DOMA...............54% (44%)
Prop 8...............47% (50%)
VRA...............33% (54%)

65 & OVER
DOMA...............41% (56%)
Prop 8...............36% (60%)
VRA...............32% (52%)

WHITES
DOMA...............57% (40%)
Prop 8...............51% (44%)
VRA...............33% (48%)

BLACKS
DOMA...............54% (44%)
Prop 8...............53% (45%)
VRA...............26% (71%)

HISPANICS
DOMA...............52% (43%)
Prop 8...............47% (51%)
VRA...............40% (50%)

COLLEGE GRADS
DOMA...............63% (33%)
Prop 8...............60% (36%)
VRA...............30% (52%)

NON-GRADS
DOMA...............54% (44%)
Prop 8...............47% (49%)
VRA...............35% (51%)

LIBERALS
DOMA...............79% (20%)
Prop 8...............75% (22%)
VRA...............27% (58%)

MODERATES
DOMA...............65% (31%)
Prop 8...............62% (33%)
VRA...............31% (55%)

CONSERVATIVES
DOMA...............38% (61%)
Prop 8...............31% (68%)
VRA...............37% (47%)

DEMOCRATS
DOMA...............68% (31%)
Prop 8...............62% (33%)
VRA...............29% (57%)

INDEPENDENTS
DOMA...............64% (33%)
Prop 8...............59% (39%)
VRA...............31% (53%)

REPUBLICANS
DOMA...............36% (62%)
Prop 8...............29% (69%)
VRA...............43% (42%)

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