Thursday, April 26, 2012

Abortion, same-sex marriage, and gun control

Here are some interesting poll results on American adults' views on those three social issues:

Abortion — There's no significant gender gap on whether it should be legal. Only 4% more women than men think it should always or usually be legal (55% and 51% respectively). There's essentially no difference based on age. There's a huge education gap: 61% of college graduates generally support legal abortion, whereas the figure is just 46% for those with only high school or less (and 57% for Americans who have been to college but haven't graduated).

Same-sex marriage — Support for it is rising dramatically. Just two presidential elections ago, in 2004, twice as many Americans opposed it as supported it. Now, slightly more Americans are for it than are against it. In 2004, more than three times as many people "strongly" opposed it (36%) than "strongly" supported it (11%). Now, the number's the same — 22% feel "strongly" each way.

Gun control — Opposition to strict gun control laws is skyrocketing among blacks and whites. Blacks have always been much more likely than whites to support gun control. But the percentage of blacks who say gun rights are more important than gun control (35%) is now as high as the percentage of whites who said so 20 years ago (37%). A majority of whites take that view now (57%).

(This is from a Pew Research Center poll where they called landlines and cell phones, and then weighted the results based on how much people actually use landlines vs. cell phones.)