Wednesday, February 29th, 2012
BY BILL LAMBRECHT • St. Louis Post Dispatch
WASHINGTON • The controversial government mandate requiring birth control coverage at no cost to women employed by religion-affiliated institutions is winning voters’ support, especially from women. But opinion is more closely divided on Sen. Roy Blunt’s proposal to allow employers to opt out of providing health care coverage on religious grounds.
Adults oppose Blunt proposal by a margin 44-40 percent, according to a United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection poll released this morning. Blunt’s opponents argue that his legislation would open the door for employers to deny coverage for reasons beyond moral belief.
Adults who were polled support the mandate by 49-40 percent, a margin that reflects strongly divergent views by gender, race and political affiliation.
The poll found that women support the contraception rule 53-36 percent, perhaps an indication of why women’s groups and activists have begun using the dispute for organizing and raising money.
While gender lines were significant, there was an even bigger split in attitude by race. While whites are evenly divided on the mandate, minorities support it 2-1, the poll found.
Likewise, roughly 2-in-3 Democrats support President Barack Obama’s new mandate while 3-in-5 Republicans oppose it. Independents were split evenly on the issue.
The poll of 1,005 adults has a potential error margin of 3.5 percent.
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