The Senate knocked down the Blunt contraception amendment 51-48 yesterday, but had America voted, it may have looked something more like 63-37. In the country at large, some 63% back federal rules requiring private insurers to cover birth control, the New York Times reports. But the issue is heavily partisan: Some eight in 10 Democrats back the requirement, compared to six in 10 independents and four in 10 Republicans.
But most Americans do approve of the use of birth control, suggesting that "the answers say more about people’s views on the role of government than on the issue of contraception," says a pollster. Some 43% of Republican women saw the matter as centered on religious freedom, compared to 10% of Democratic women. Men and women didn't differ much on the issue. Regardless, many respondents called the issue a distraction from bigger concerns like the economy. (Read more birth control stories.)