Dr. Melissa Deckman is a Professor of Political Science at Washington College and a PRRI Affiliated Scholar. Her research interests center on the intersection of religion, women, and politics. She has written in the past about the Christian Right’s participation in school board politics. Her most recent work is as co-editor and contributor to Curriculum and the Culture Wars: Debating the Bible’s Place in Public Schools. PRRI sat down with Dr. Deckman to discuss the significance of the book.
Since Vice President Joe Biden was tasked with drafting new and comprehensive proposals on gun control, he has consulted with a number of organizations with varying perspectives on the issue. Today he is meeting with victims’ groups and gun safety advocates. Tomorrow, he will sit down with a representative from the National Rifle Association, an influential lobbying group.
Americans’ opinions of the NRA are divided by political and religious affiliation. The PRRI Race, Class, and Culture survey conducted in August of 2012 found that a majority (56%) of Americans hold a favorable view of the NRA, while slightly less than one third (32%) hold an unfavorable view. A new PPP national poll, however, found that the NRA’s favorability has decreased in the last few weeks: 42% of Americans rank the NRA favorably and 45% unfavorably. PRRI’s findings among religious groups showed that white evangelicals sported the highest support for the NRA at 76% while black Protestants claimed the lowest levels of support at 39%. Religiously unaffiliated Americans were more closely divided with 40% holding favorable views and 48% holding unfavorable views of the NRA. The partisan differences were especially stark. For a breakdown of views of the NRA by political party affiliation you can turn to this week’s Graphic of the Week.