Planned Parenthood Polling

Planed Parenthood has historically been a popular organization. In 1989, Gallup found that 82 percent of Americans had a favorable impression of it. So it may well be that the public opposes taking federal money away from Planned Parenthood and giving it to other organizations that provide health services but do not provide abortions. But the polling we’re seeing is not shedding light on that question.

Dana Milbank, for example, crows today that 61 percent of Americans in a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll opposes defunding Planned Parenthood. But here’s the poll question they were asked: “Would you favor or oppose totally eliminating federal funding to Planned Parenthood for family planning and preventative health services?” There’s nothing in there about redirecting the funds to other organizations. Respondents might think that money for health services would just be cut.

Maybe the public would be against what Republicans are trying to do, but you’d have to give them a full description of it to find out.

Ramesh Ponnuru — Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg View, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular


Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More
Film & TV

Black Panther’s Circle of Hype

The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) first infantilizes its audience, then banalizes it, and, finally, controls it through marketing. This commercial strategy, geared toward adolescents of all ages, resembles the Democratic party’s political manipulation of black Americans, targeting that audience through its ... Read More