Voters Sent a Clear Message on Abortion; Republicans Don’t Want To Hear It

Voters Sent a Clear Message on Abortion; Republicans Don’t Want To Hear It

The LA Times’ David Lauter writes that in last week’s elections, voters in four states demonstrated that they oppose restrictions on abortion rights, and that they’re not easily diverted. Republicans used multiple strategies such as using one-sided language on the ballot in Ohio, shifting the conversation from abortion to gender-affirming medical care in Kentucky, and calling Virginia’s proposed 15-week ban “reasonable” — none of which were successful. PRRI finds that 14% of Republicans say abortion should be illegal in all cases. Further, the percent of Americans who say abortion should be legal in all or most cases has increased from 55% a decade ago to 65% today.

A Lot of Americans Embrace Trump’s Authoritarianism

Philip Bump at The Washington Post looks at American support for authoritarianism to understand continued support for Donald Trump in the polls, even given his increasingly explicit campaign rhetoric about shifting the chief executive position toward authoritarianism.  Bump points out that the results of CNN’s most recent polling reveal that at least 14% of respondents think that Trump doesn’t respect the rule of law and also want him to be president. This lines up with the 2023 PRRI American Values Survey, which found that about two in five Americans, including out nearly half of Republicans, agreed “things in the U.S. had gone so far off track that we need a leader who would break rules in order to fix the country’s direction.”

What Do Most Americans View as a Critical Issue: Abortion, Rising Costs or Guns?

Kelsey Dallas at Deseret News analyzes what issues are critical for Americans heading into a presidential election year, including what issues are important enough to sway their vote. PRRI’s 2023 American Values Survey found that Americans were the most likely to say “increasing costs of housing and everyday expenses” (62%) was a critical issue, followed by crime (50%), and health care (49%). The survey also found that fewer than four in ten Americans (39%) say they will only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion, which is surprising given the ongoing political and legal battles over abortion across the country, while an additional 42% say they will take a candidate’s position on abortion into consideration when voting.

How a Bucolic Tennessee Suburb Became a Hotbed of ‘Christian Nashville-Ism’

For Religion News Service, Bob Smietana examines the intersection of religion, money, and influence shaping a unique version of Christian nationalism in Williamson County, Tennessee. In a recent mayoral race, the county saw multiple shows of force from the Patriot Front. Though the Patriot front-backed candidate lost her race, concern for cultural issues remains, especially in the face of growing secularization and changing demographics, according to PRRI CEO Melissa Deckman. PRRI’s latest Americans Values Survey found that 59% of white evangelicals preferred a presidential candidate who could “protect and preserve American culture and the American way of life” over one who could manage the economy.

What’s Buzzing?

Read PRRI’s full report: A Christian Nation? Understanding the Threat of Christian Nationalism to American Democracy and Culture.