The Democratic Party, reeling from losses in last year's races for president and Congress, has struggled to determine just what its message is and rebuild as a party.
That effort has not been made easier after Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez took a broad brush recently and proclaimed all Democrats should support abortion rights. In so doing, he may have alienated a significant portion of his party.
The issue came when Perez and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders were conducting a "Unity Tour" to build enthusiasm for the Democratic Party. Perez took issue with Sanders for supporting a Democratic mayor in a Nebraska town who personally was against abortion.
Perez flatly said that while Democrats could "have personal beliefs" against abortion, they should not pursue those policies while in office.
"If they try to legislate or govern that way, we will take them on," Perez said in an interview Friday.
Perez could have just challenged a lot of people who currently identify as Democrats, the Washington Examiner reported on Monday. Among all Democrats, one fourth believe abortion should be illegal. Citing a study by the Pew Research Center, the article said that when broken down among various groups, 40 percent of women and 37 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds reported they were opposed to the practice.
The numbers are worse when it comes to the Rust Belt states the Democrats lost in the 2016 election where a 2014 Pew study reported even higher numbers of adults in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan who think abortion should be illegal in all or most cases. And, in once deeply blue West Virginia, 58 percent of adults believe abortion should be illegal.
A Gallup poll taken last May showed a nearly even split between pro-choice and pro-life advocates, reporting 47 and 46 percent respectively.
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