As media member after media member used Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrat Party Tuesday as an example of how conservatism in America is either dying or dead, a new poll found this to be wishful thinking.
In fact, in two of the key issues that have been largely divided along party lines for decades, namely abortion and gun control, a study released Thursday by the Pew Research Center showed the nation moving to the right on both.
For the first time in a Pew Research survey, nearly as many people believe it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns (45%) than to control gun ownership (49%). As recently as a year ago, 58% said it was more important to control gun ownership while 37% said it was more important to protect the right to own guns.
The latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted March 31-April 21 among 1,521 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, also finds public opinion about abortion more closely divided than it has been in several years. Currently, 46% say abortion should be legal in most cases (28%) or all cases (18%); 44% believe that abortion should be illegal in most (28%) or all cases (16%). Since the mid-1990s, majorities have consistently favored legal abortion, with the exception of an August 2001 survey by ABC News/Washington Post.
The proportion saying that abortion should be legal in all or most cases has declined to 46% from 54% last August.
Doesn't quite fit the picture media are painting about America, does it?