Why Gun Control and Abortion Are Different From Gay Marriage

The legalization of same-sex marriage is a potent example of a dominant theme in American history: Over time, civil rights expand, and discrimination ebbs. …

As a result, it’s fair to divide the major issues in American political life into two broad categories. In one category are the rights-based issues in which the future can be safely predicted. In the other category — which includes abortion, gun control and climate change — there is far less clarity about the direction of public opinion. CONT.

David Leonhardt & Alicia Parlapiano, New York Times

Liberals Liked the Supreme Court Even Before Big Rulings

The Supreme Court was substantially more popular with those on the political left than those on the political right, according to polling ahead of last week’s historic decisions on gay marriage and health-case subsidies. CONT.

Dante Chinni, Wall Street Journal

Ben Wattenberg, Author and Commentator, Dies at 81

Ben Wattenberg, an author, a PBS television commentator and a professed neoconservative who vainly urged his fellow Democrats to court the nation’s centrist voters at a time when the party was moving to the left, died Sunday in Washington. …

In 1970, long before computer-generated models singled out soccer moms and Nascar dads as pivotal groups that national parties needed to target, Mr. Wattenberg and a co-author, Richard M. Scammon, a former Census Bureau director, wrote in “The Real Majority” that the quintessential voter who needed to be won over was a 47-year-old homemaker from the outskirts of Dayton, Ohio, whose husband was a machinist. CONT.

Sam Roberts, New York Times

Democrats Need to Give Voters a Reason to Participate

Democrats are well positioned leading into next year’s elections if they give their base, particularly unmarried women, a reason to turn out and vote. As this research demonstrates, the promise of an agenda that addresses the real economy of everyday Americans and—this is an equally important piece—also provides them with a more responsive and equitable government gives key blocks in the Democratic coalition a greater stake in this election.

A new survey of 950 likely 2016 voters sponsored by Democracy Corps and Women’s Voices, Woman Vote Action Fund shows Hillary Clinton with a stable and impressive lead over prominent Republican contenders (Marco Rubio and Scott Walker). The Democratic margin in a named congressional vote, up significantly from the 2014 election, inches up higher, and has moved 11 points in the Democratic direction since last November. This Democratic strength reflects the changing demographic reality of the new American electorate. CONT.

Democracy Corps & Women’s Voices, Woman Vote Action Fund

Will marriage turn gay people into Republicans? Not anytime soon.

With sweeping and definitive language in Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the right to marry must be extended to same-sex couples. … Now, as political scientist Kenneth Sherrill once aptly put it, the status of gays has changed “from outlaws to inlaws.”

To some extent, the decline of a distinctive gay politics and culture is inevitable, just like the decline of, say, the distinctive German-American and Irish-American political cultures that occurred as these groups faced less discrimination and achieved assimilation. But my research—which draws upon relatively new data available from representative sample surveys of the lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) population—suggests that gay people will remain firmly in the liberal Democratic camp for quite a long time to come. CONT.

Patrick J. Egan, The Monkey Cage

Is it the end for telephone polling?

Last week I went along to the first public meeting of the investigation into what went wrong with the polling before the general election.

It is the British Polling Council’s attempt to find out why all the pollsters spotted that the Scottish National Party was going to do well and the Liberal Democrats were going to do quite badly, but failed to spot the size of the gap between Labour and the Conservatives and predicted a hung parliament. CONT.

Anthony Reuben, BBC News

To The Editor: Just say no to horse-race coverage

… Surveys can be useful for gauging what voters care about. But using them to predict elections has become a reckless addiction. Let’s get off them. Consumers of journalism can help. Every time you read, listen to or click on a predictive political story, you enable the angels of our lesser nature. So just say no to horse-race coverage and we will get better. CONT.

Michael Oreskes (NPR), New York Times

Americans show strong support for home Olympics

While Bostonians are hesitant to host the Olympics, Americans across the country overwhelmingly support the idea of the games on home turf, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. The support decreases when people are asked if they would want the Olympics in their local area. CONT.

Eddie Pells & Emily Swanson, AP

Small Gains With Black Voters Could Boost GOP in 2016

When it comes to black voters, the Republican Party can’t do much worse than it has in the past two presidential elections: It won a paltry 4% of the black vote in 2008 and 6% in 2012.

There’s a big upside for the GOP if it can do better: A modest boost in support from African Americans could tip some important states in presidential elections. That’s partly what’s at stake for the GOP in how African Americans view its response to the shootings in Charleston, S.C., and the Confederate flag controversy.

Here’s a look at how the GOP could benefit from even a modestly better share of the black vote, and the challenges the party faces. CONT.

Dante Chinni, Wall Street Journal

The Rural America Divide

… On trade, the Affordable Care Act and same-sex marriage, rural America has different opinions than those who live in urban and suburban areas, according to polling data. And on each of those issues, the news out of Washington over the past few days has signaled a negative shift. CONT.

NBC News