PRINCETON, NJ -- More than eight in 10 Americans agree with the basic tenets of the Violence Against Women Act, which Congress recently voted to reauthorize and President Barack Obama signed into law on Thursday. Specifically, 82% say that, if given the opportunity, they would vote "for" a law that provides "federal funding for programs that assist victims of crimes against women, and help in the prosecution of sexual assault and domestic abuse." Sixteen percent would vote "against" such a law.
Support for the law is essentially as high among men as among women, at 80% and 83%, respectively. There are some differences by age and party ID, with seniors and Republicans less in favor than their counterparts; however, the vast majority of all groups say they would vote for it.
The Violence Against Women Act, although passed on a bipartisan basis, generated its share of controversy in Washington. Several Republicans in the U.S. House and Senate have taken issue with provisions of the law offering amnesty to illegal immigrant victims of domestic violence, expanding the jurisdiction for Native American courts of law in prosecuting domestic violence cases, and stipulating that organizations receiving grants under the law must not discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.
While the Gallup data don't address where Americans stand on all of these aspects of the multifaceted law, they do find that Americans broadly support its underlying goal.
Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking March 2-3, 2013, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±4 percentage points.
Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish-speaking. Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by region. Landline telephone numbers are chosen at random among listed telephone numbers. Cellphones numbers are selected using random digit dial methods. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.
Samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to match the national demographics of gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, population density, and phone status (cellphone only/landline only/both, cellphone mostly, and having an unlisted landline number). Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2012 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older U.S. population. Phone status targets are based on the July-December 2011 National Health Interview Survey. Population density targets are based on the 2010 census. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting.
In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.
For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.