07/02/2014 03:32 pm ET Updated Jul 02, 2014

Americans Can't Agree On The Hobby Lobby Decision

Americans don't agree on the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby case, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

Forty-six percent of Americans said they approved of the high court's decision that "closely held" companies, such as those controlled by families, cannot be required to provide contraception coverage for their employees if doing so violates the owners' religious beliefs. Forty-one percent disapproved.

Opinion was sharply divided along party and gender lines. While 77 percent of Republicans approved, just 20 percent of Democrats did. Men were 11 percentage points more likely than women to support the decision.

More broadly, 52 percent of Americans favored requiring employers to provide health care plans that cover the cost of birth control, while 32 percent did not.

As with many other subjects that involve both a hot-button debate and a slew of nuanced details, however, the polling on this issue is highly sensitive to how the question is phrased. Ask Americans whether they generally support contraception coverage, and a majority tend to agree. Mention religious objections, and support tends to drop. In a recent Kaiser Family Foundation poll, for instance, 61 percent said private health insurance plans should cover the full cost of birth control, but just 55 percent said that for-profit companies whose owners object to birth control on religious grounds should have to cover it.

In the immediate aftermath of the Supreme Court's rulings in favor of Hobby Lobby and against abortion clinic buffer zones, the HuffPost/YouGov survey finds Republicans far more satisfied than Democrats with the court. Fifty-seven percent of Republicans said they approved of the Supreme Court's performance as a whole, compared to just 37 percent of Democrats and 33 percent of independents.

According to the poll, contraception is not controversial to most Americans. Seventy-three percent said using birth control is morally acceptable; just 7 percent said it is morally wrong.

Democrats were more likely to express positive views about birth control use, with 80 percent calling it morally acceptable. Sixty-two percent of Republicans and 72 percent of independents agreed.

The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted July 1 to July 2 among 1,000 U.S. adults using a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.

The Huffington Post has teamed up with YouGov to conduct daily opinion polls. You can learn more about this project and take part in YouGov's nationally representative opinion polling. Data from all HuffPost/YouGov polls can be found here.



Supreme Court Hobby Lobby Decision