Are Virginia Republicans Privately Plotting an Abortion Crackdown?
Tessa Stuart at Rolling Stone reports that Republican candidates in Virginia who are publicly running on a 15-week abortion ban and have deemed it a good compromise or “consensus,” are waffling on their abortion positions. John Stirrup, a candidate for Virginia’s House of Delegates, has publicly supported a 15-week ban, but privately said he would vote for a 100% ban. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has stated he would go “on offense” on abortion if there were to be a GOP-controlled legislature, but also stated he would “happily sign any bill to protect life.” PRRI research finds 71% of Virginians believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Will Republican Candidates Pay a Price for Extreme Immigration Policies?
At the Atlantic, Ronald Brownstein looks at former President Trump’s continued embrace of deeply divisive immigration restrictions. Between 2016-2020, some Latino and Muslim voters opposed Trump’s immigration policies, but moved to support him based on the economy and conservative social issues. Now, Trump has said he would restore his Muslim travel ban and go even further with mass deportations of undocumented migrants. While Trump’s past immigration policies polled poorly, PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey, found less than a third of adults overall said they approved of Biden’s handling of those issues. “With frustration building [over Biden’s record on immigration], it looks to me that some of these more extreme ideas are gaining traction” said Robert P. Jones, founder and president of PRRI.
It’s the Culture War, Stupid: How Republicans View the Presidency
The Washington Post’s Philip Bump analyzes the Trump campaign’s claim that support for the former president hinges on his record on the economy. While Trump and his allies make this argument constantly, PRRI’s new American Values Survey instead identifies the need to “preserve American culture and way of life” (a central theme of Trump’s politics) as the top concern for Americans who trust Fox News and far-right television news channels. This, Bump writes, offers a different lens for Trump’s focus on the economy; he knows he has the support of voters focused on protecting American culture, so he’s making his case to everyone else.
Majority of Americans Oppose Book Bans, But Back Bible Electives
Russell Contreras at Axios writes that PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey indicates that public attitudes are “defying a movement to remove books discussing racism across the nation.” The PRRI/Brookings report found that 84% of Americans oppose banning public high school courses like AP African American History because of the potential to make white students feel guilty or uncomfortable. A majority of Americans (53%), however, do favor offering elective courses on the Bible that are taught from a “Christian perspective” in public schools, including 73% of Republicans, 52% of independents, and 38% of Democrats.
Read PRRI’s 14th annual American Values Survey.