In addition to decoupling religious affiliation from views on reproductive rights, the latest survey from the Public Religion Research Institute yields data with significant implications for elections and election coverage. The misnamed “values voter,” a mythical beast whose voting values consisted primarily of opposition to legal abortion and marriage equality, is in a state of major decline.
To the extent that the pro-choice/pro-life binary is a useful one, Americans have held steady at 56-57% still favor legal abortion over the past 12 years. However, according to PRRI: “the percentage of Americans who said marriages between same-sex couples should be recognized by the law as valid has grown 18 points over this same period, from 35% in 1999 to 53% in 2011.”
– The Eds.