The inauguration, MLK Day, and 40 years of Roe v. Wade: AEI Political Report, January 2013

White House/Pete Souza

President Barack Obama is given the Oath of Office for a second time by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. in the Map Room of the White House, Jan. 21, 2009.

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Three major events serve as focal points for the January 2013 AEI Political Report. For President Obama’s inauguration on January 21, we examine how the president stacks up against early expectations for him for his first term. January 21 is also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. It is only fitting, then, that this issue explore views on black progress during the term of America’s first black president. We also review attitudes on affirmative action before the Supreme Court rules on the Fisher case. Finally, January 22 will mark the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. We survey major trends on the subject over those 40 years. Highlights include:

* In 2009, 65 percent expected Barack Obama to be an outstanding or an above average president. In 2012, 38 percent said he had been outstanding or above average thus far.

* Congress’s approval rating hit new lows in several 2012 polls. In one recent poll, just 1 percent said members of Congress listen and care about what ordinary Americans think most of the time.

* The polls show most people believe a woman should be able to obtain an abortion if the circumstances are beyond the woman’s control, such as rape. When the circumstances are under her control, the public is more divided. Attitudes on nearly all aspects of the abortion issue have been stable over 40 years.

* Five percent of self-identified voters indicated abortion was the most important issue to them in voting for a candidate. Four percent of Obama voters and 6 percent of Romney voters gave that response.

* When President Obama was elected, 70 percent said race relations in the country would improve. In 2011, 35 percent said they had improved, 23 percent that they had gotten worse, and 41 percent that they remained unchanged.

* Seventy-two percent of Americans agree that Irish, Italians, Jews, and many other minorities overcame prejudice and worked their way up and that blacks should do the same without special favors

 

The inauguration, MLK day, and 40 years of Roe v. Wade: AEI Political Report, January 2013 by American Enterprise Institute

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About the Author

 

Karlyn
Bowman
  • Karlyn Bowman compiles and analyzes American public opinion using available polling data on a variety of subjects, including the economy, taxes, the state of workers in America, environment and global warming, attitudes about homosexuality and gay marriage, NAFTA and free trade, the war in Iraq, and women's attitudes. In addition, Ms. Bowman has studied and spoken about the evolution of American politics because of key demographic and geographic changes. She has often lectured on the role of think tanks in the United States and writes a weekly column for Forbes.com.
  • Phone: 2028625910
    Email: kbowman@aei.org
  • Assistant Info

    Name: Andrew Rugg
    Phone: 2028625917
    Email: andrew.rugg@aei.org

 

Andrew
Rugg

 

Jennifer K.
Marsico
  • Jennifer K. Marsico is a senior research associate at AEI, working in the Political Corner. Her research focuses on elections and election reform, as well as government continuity issues. She is a visiting fellow at the Independent Women's Forum. She is also a contributor to the AEIdeas blog, and has also written for many outside print and online publications, including The Wall Street Journal, Chicago Tribune, and Roll Call. Ms. Marsico serves as assistant director of the AEI-Brookings Continuity of Government Commission, and has contributed to recent studies on Supreme Court continuity, voter registration modernization, and civic participation in the digital age.

  • Phone: 202.862.5899
    Email: jennifer.marsico@aei.org

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