Elections

Most Americans say criminalizing abortion is wrong — and are divided on deportation

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A new poll found presumptive nominees President Biden and former President Donald Trump in a statistical tie for a 2024 rematch, with Biden narrowly ahead.

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A new poll found presumptive nominees President Biden and former President Donald Trump in a statistical tie for a 2024 rematch, with Biden narrowly ahead.

Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images

Americans almost unanimously reject criminalizing abortion and are strongly opposed to political violence but most also believe the country is too politically correct and are split on whether to deport immigrants in the U.S. illegally, a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll finds.

The overwhelming majority of the 1,305 respondents also agreed that President Biden won the 2020 election, which has been proven in multiple court cases. But 6 in 10 Republicans falsely maintain he did not.

A majority of them also said they believe the country needs a leader to break some rules to get it back on track, and some 3 in 10 Republicans go so far as to say Americans may have to resort to violence in order to set things straight.

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Former President Trump has pushed false election conspiracies, used graphic and violent rhetoric on the campaign trail and praised authoritarian leaders, many of whom have broken or changed their country’s rules to exert more power.

“It’s nice to have a strong man running your country,” Trump said earlier this year after praising Hungary’s Viktor Orban.

Immigration and white grievance have also been huge motivating factors for Republicans who support Trump. In addition to the survey’s findings on immigration, three-quarters of Republicans said discrimination against white people has become just as big a problem as discrimination against Black Americans and other minority groups.

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Demonstrators protest and argue outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Demonstrators protest and argue outside the U.S. Supreme Court.

Michael Nigro/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

President Biden, on the other hand, has put democracy, abortion rights and social equality at the center of his campaign for reelection.

The survey found Biden and Trump in a statistical tie, with Biden narrowly ahead. Biden’s approval and favorability ratings are also up slightly, but majorities continue to say they have an unfavorable view of both men.

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Here’s a look at more of the poll’s findings:

Strong majorities said:

Women who have abortions should not face penalties like fines or jail (84%) Americans should not have to resort to violence in order to get the country back on track (79%) A president should not be immune from crimes committed as president (75%) Religion should not influence government policy (75%) Corporate greed is a major cause of inflation (72%) – a majority of Republicans said so, too Biden won the 2020 election (71%) People should not be allowed to own military-style assault weapons (61%)

But slimmer majorities also said:

America is too politically correct (57%) All immigrants who came to the United States illegally should be deported (51%)

A big reason why Republicans continue to push immigration as an issue is because a majority of independents (55%) agreed that immigrants in the U.S. illegally should be deported. But Republicans, like Trump, are on their backfoot with independents on other issues, like guns, the results of the 2020 presidential election and the potential need for a leader who will break rules.

Notably, among the most galvanizing statements for Republicans were beliefs that:

immigrants in the country illegally should be deported (84% agreed), discrimination against white people has become just as big a problem as discrimination against Black Americans and other minority groups (77%) and  America is too politically correct (77%).

Some bright points for the future

For all the divisions the survey found, there were a couple of bright spots:

81% said they have friends with different political views than their own  68% said the American Dream is still attainable.

A majority of Americans 18 to 29 said they believe the American Dream is still attainable, but they were the least likely age group to say so. Voters 60 and older were almost 20 points more likely to say it’s attainable.

That tracks with the latest World Happiness Report, conducted by Gallup, that found younger Americans were far less happy than older Americanss – and because of that, for the first time, the United States fell out of the top 20 countries when it came to happiness.

Biden’s approval rating ticks up; presumptive nominees are statistically tied

The president has been suffering from middling approval ratings, but he has seen an uptick lately nationally and in polls against Trump in swing states.

The Marist survey finds similarly that Biden’s approval rating has ticked up 3 points, from 40% in February to 43% this month. His favorability rating is also the highest it’s been since March 2021 though still only 44% have a positive view of Biden while 51% have a negative one.

Trump, on the other hand, continues to be disliked by a majority of the country with just 39% saying they have a favorable view of the former president while 55% have an unfavorable one.

And Biden also narrowly leads Trump in a head-to-head match up by 2 points, 50% to 48%, a statistical tie though it’s the first time Biden has hit 50% since Marist began asking about Biden vs. Trump.

Biden also maintains that 2-point lead (43%-41%) when third-party candidates are introduced. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. pulls in 11%, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, gets 2% and college professor Cornel West, 1%.

Democrats can take some solace in the survey finding that a slightly higher percentage of voters (63%-59%) say they are locked in for Biden as compared to Trump. About 12% of respondents said they haven’t made their minds up; 3 in 10 said they have a good idea who they would vote for but could change their minds.