Contraception Politics: More Numbers
As a follow-up to my previous post on this subject, here are some more numbers.
-56% of voters generally support the birth control benefit, while 37% are opposed. Independents strongly favor it, 55/36, and a lot more Republicans (36%) support it than Democrats (20%) oppose it. Women are for it by a 63/29 margin.
-Only 39% of voters support an exemption for Catholic hospitals and universities from providing the benefit, while 57% are opposed to one.
-There is a major disconnect between the leadership of the Catholic Church and rank and file Catholic voters on this issue. We did an over sample of almost 400 Catholics and found that they support the benefit overall, 53-44, and oppose an exception for Catholic hospitals and universities, 53-45. The Bishops really are not speaking for Catholics as a whole on this issue.
Second, Fox News:
The new Obama health care law requires that employer health plans provide birth control coverage as part of preventive services for women. Catholic and other religious-affiliated hospitals and universities typically have not provided any birth control coverage for their employees, and oppose the new requirement because it violates their religious rights. Overall, do you approve or disapprove of requiring employer health plans to cover birth control for women?
(Don’t know) 5
Note: the above question was before the compromise that was offered. Granted, it was also, therefore, before a lot of the media attention.
Still, I continue to see this issue as a political problem for the GOP and a winner for the Democrats. As such, the fact that the GOP keeps elevating it in the discourse (e.g., the Issa hearings) is a baffling from a strategic point of view.