New analysis breaks down the growing unpopularity of the 'Religious Right' political agenda
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, far-right religious Republicans celebrated their most substantial policy victory in four decades. However, a new analysis is explaining the drawbacks of the ruling and how it could negatively impact the Republican Party's political agenda, going forward.
The HuffPost's Paul Blumenthal explained how the idea of banning abortion differs from the reality of it. At this point, many Americans in Republican-controlled states are already feeling the strain of the new law.
Blumenthal offered a brief overview of the latest poll results detailing the reaction to Roe v. Wade being overturned.
"The public broadly disapproves of the court’s decision to overturn Roe, and opposes policies that ban abortion. Nearly two-thirds of Americans opposed the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a CNN poll found. Sixty-two percent believe that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, according to a Pew Research poll. Sixty-five percent said the same thing in a PRRI poll."
"The problem? The religious right’s unpopular policy of banning abortion is now reality, at least in certain states," Blumenthal wrote. "Republicans can no longer hide behind Roe and express support for unpopular policies that will never become law. They will have to defend abortion bans, and other unpopular restrictions pushed by an emboldened religious conservative movement."
He added, "Republicans are already seeing how unpopular banning abortion can be. In the first vote on abortion since the court’s June decision, voters in Kansas ― a state that decisively voted to reelect Donald Trump ― rejected a referendum that would have overturned a state Supreme Court decision protecting abortion rights, and did so by a double-digit margin that exceeded Trump’s win there."
Melissa Deckman, CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute, which focuses on maintaining record of public opinion, also weighed in on the impact of a possible abortion ban. “It’s no longer a theoretical possibility,” Deckman said. “It’s actual reality, and we’re seeing a backlash.”
She also noted: “The Christian right currently has very disproportionate influence based on public opinion. Their views on those issues are not held by other Americans.”
However, Blumenthal also explained why the backlash should not be a surprise for Republican lawmakers. "This should come as no surprise to Republicans," he wrote. "The religious right’s policy agenda has always played second fiddle to other priorities of the conservative coalition that powered Ronald Reagan to victory in 1980 and secured dominance for decades to come."
Now, there are possible consequences. Blumenthal noted that Republicans will likely have to face the adverse effects of putting such aggressive policies in play. Bradley Onishi, an associate professor with an academic emphasis on religion at Skidmore College, recently put the lawmakers' actions into perspective.
“It’s like when the dog catches its tail, it’s kind of like, ’What’s next?” Onishi said.
The reaction to Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization also appears to align with the response to Roe v. Wade.
In response to the court rulings, it appears Democratic voters are now more motivated to head to the polls. "Polling by PRRI in the wake of the Dobbs decision showed a dramatic increase to 43% of Democrats saying they would only vote for a candidate who shares their position on abortion," he wrote. "A higher percentage of Democrats than Republicans named abortion as a litmus test issue."
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