Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New York Times Poll: 51 - 40 Favor Opt Out for ALL Employers for Moral or Religious Reasons

Mickey Kaus explains the New York Times poll that the Times forgot to explain:
". . . Unbeknownst to those who read only the Times' main story, the poll asked the same question to men. They were not split. Men favored opting out by a 20 point margin (57 vs. 37), except when a “religiously affiliated employer” was involved, in which case the margin increased to 25 points. Combining men and women, a substantial majority (51-40) favors allowing an opt-out--increasing to 57-36 where religiously-affiliated institutions are involved.

"These are not close results. It’s hard to read this poll and not conclude that, contrary to some accounts, Obama wasn’t such a genius to pick a fight over mandated contraception coverage--because he appears to be losing the public debate on the question. That’s a conclusion the Times story effectively hides from readers."
51-40 say yes on the right to opt out for ALL employers for moral or religious reasons.*

57-36 say yes on the right to opt out for “religiously affiliated employers, such as a hospital or university.”

Interestingly, the majority of those polled thought the issue was mainly about "women's health and their rights" (51%) and not a "religious freedom" issue (37%). So, even though the framing leaned toward the President, Democratic party and mainstream press, the outcome was solidly against them. A good week's work for conservative and religious advocates.
*actual question: “Should health insurance plans for all employees have to cover the full cost of birth control for female employees or should employers be able to opt out for moral or religious reasons?”

H/T William Jacobson

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