America Speaks on Sexual Harassment and Key Election Issues

PRRI Releases New Survey on the U.S. Supreme Court, Sexual Harassment, Reproductive Health and the Midterms
Amid the bitter U.S. Supreme Court confirmation fight and the 2018 midterm battle for control of Congress, PRRI today released a new survey exploring Americans’ attitudes towards the issues that could shape the outcomes of these skirmishes. Six in ten (60 percent) Americans say that they would definitely not vote for a political candidate who had been accused of sexual harassment by multiple people. Thirty-two percent say they would still consider voting for such a candidate. “While majorities of men and women both say they wouldn’t vote for a candidate accused of sexual harassment, partisanship trumps gender on this issue,” said PRRI CEO Robert P. Jones. “Strong majorities of Democratic men and women, compared to only about four in ten Republican women and fewer than three in ten Republican men, say they wouldn’t vote for a candidate facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment.”
Amazon Raises Minimum Wage for Workers
Beginning in November the hourly wage for Amazon employees, including at Whole Foods, will increase to $15 per hour from $11, the company announced. Amazon’s founder and CEO Jeff Bezos says,”We listened to our critics, thought hard about what we wanted to do, and decided we want to lead. We’re excited about this change and encourage our competitors and other large employers to join us.” The wage hike will impact over 250,000 regular employees and 100,000 hired for seasonal work. According to CNN, Amazon will also instruct its lobbying arm to begin pressing Congress to raise the federal minimum wage. In a 2016 survey from PRRI/The Atlantic, 60 percent of respondents said they supported bringing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15. The survey found white working-class Republicans (33 percent) were less likely than white working-class Democrats (63 percent) to support a wage hike.
College-Educated White Women Reeling from Trump and Kavanaugh
The confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court despite sexual assault allegations against him, could cause a lasting rift among college-educated white women and the Republican Party, according to Ronald Brownstein writing for CNN. “Many professional white women are already recoiling from President Donald Trump’s definition of the Republican Party,” writes Brownstein. “[Confirming Kavanaugh] has the potential to reinforce a lasting shift in loyalties that could tip the partisan balance in white-collar suburbs around America,” he continues citing a new Quinnipiac University poll that finds 58 percent of college educated white women think Kavanaugh’s nomination should be rejected. He also references Rob Griffin Ph.D., PRRI’s Associate Director of Research. Brownstein writes, “Trump’s base, will decline as the electorate diversifies. Rob Griffin, a principal researcher on the “States of Change” project, forecasts that college-educated women will reach about one-fourth of the white electorate by 2036, up from just over one-fifth now.”
U.S. Stops Issuing Visas for Unwed Same-Sex Partners of Diplomats
On Monday, the U.S. State Department stopped issuing visas to same-sex partners of foreign diplomats and their staff who were not married to their partner. This includes employees of the United Nations and the World Bank. A state department spokesman told NBC News the rule was meant to ensure same-sex and heterosexual couples were treated the same under the eyes of the law. Critics of the decision have been quick to point out that only a small percentage of countries that belong to the United Nations or World Bank have legalized same-sex marriage. According to a recent PRRI survey, 64 percent of the country supports same-sex marriage.
New Data Shows How Neighborhoods Shape Children for Life
An article in The New York Times highlights how the neighborhoods a person grows up in determines how far they move up the economic ladder later in life. The article reports,“Research has shown that where children live matters deeply in whether they prosper as adults.” The Census Bureau, along with researchers at Harvard University and Brown University, published data this week that will “make it possible to pinpoint — down to the census tract, a level relevant to individual families — where children of all backgrounds have the best shot at getting ahead.” City governments and philanthropists plan to use this new data to examine government-funded programs and see how and if these efforts have helped the children they were meant to help. “That’s the dream — to figure that out,” says Andria Lazaga, the director of policy and strategic initiatives with the Seattle Housing Authority. A PRRI survey finds a majority (56 percent) of Americans endorse the belief that the only way to help children escape poverty is to provide more assistance to their parents. More than four in ten (43 percent) Americans disagree with this statement.
Christian TV Network Enters World of 24-Hour News
The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN), founded by televangelist Pat Robertson, has decided to enter the world of 24-hour news. According to The Bradenton Herald, CBN News Channel will air on local television stations in 15 U.S. cities. The network “will produce original programming and commentary on everything from the power of prayer to Justin Bieber’s faith and Christian persecution in the Middle East.” Gordon Robertson, CEO of the CBN, adds that the “news channel will provide a religious perspective that other channels lack.” A 2017 PRRI survey reports that no religious group is more closely tied to the Republican Party than white evangelical Protestants. Nearly half (49 percent) of white evangelical Protestants identify as Republican, about one-third (31 percent) are independent, and just 14 percent are Democrats.
Historic D.C. Church Closes after 149 Years
One year shy of its 150th anniversary, a Washington, D.C. church founded by newly freed slaves has shuttered its doors. The Lincoln Congregational Temple United Church of Christ has seen the number of their parishioners dwindle in recent years, due in part to gentrification of the surrounding neighborhood that has priced-out many longtime black residents. Over the last few months, the 1,200 seat church had only a handful of parishioners for services that used to be full. Rubin Tendai, who once served as interim minister of the church says, “I felt a part of me was dying as the church was dying. I felt the power of death, but I also understood there is a resurrection. Somehow, this church will never die in the hearts of the people.”