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MacKenzie Babb

MacKenzie Babb is an author at Religion News Service.

All Stories by MacKenzie Babb

Will Shorter Lines Boost Voter Turnout at the Polls?

January 23, 2014

The bipartisan Presidential Commission on Election Administration has released a report encouraging jurisdictions across the country to cut down on long lines at polls on Election Day by expanding early voting, increasing online voter registration, and checking voter registration lists against those provided by other states.

Does God Reward Faithful Athletes?

January 21, 2014

Coinciding with the Seattle Seahawks’ NFC Championship win on Sunday, a Duracell commercial featuring fullback Derrick Coleman, who is deaf, and his unlikely rise to become a pro-football player has gone viral. Coleman said during an interview with FOX Sports following the commercial’s release, “I always say that God blessed me.”

Will You Tune In? Expected Viewership of the Super Bowl, World Cup and Winter Olympics

January 17, 2014

When it comes to watching sports, football remains the undisputed favorite among Americans. Roughly four times as many Americans report football is their favorite sport to watch (39 percent) as say the same about basketball (10 percent), baseball (9 percent), soccer (7 percent), or ice hockey (7 percent). So it comes as no surprise that more than 7-in-10 (72 percent) of Americans say they’re likely to watch the Super Bowl, including a slim majority (51 percent) who say they’re very likely to watch.

Can Reality TV Lower the Teen Birthrate?

January 13, 2014

According to a new economic study, shows like MTV’s “16 and Pregnant” and its spin-off, “Teen Mom” may have prevented more than 20,000 births to teenage mothers in 2010 alone.

New Survey Explores Perceptions of Appropriate Dress for Women in Muslim-Majority Countries

January 9, 2014

What’s appropriate for women to wear in public? This question is the subject of a new study conducted by the University of Michigan’s Institute for Social Research, which recently surveyed people in seven Muslim-majority countries—Tunisia, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

What’s to Blame for the Polar Vortex?

January 7, 2014

As freezing temperatures break records and make headlines across the country, some wonder what’s behind the so-called polar vortex responsible for the frigid dips. The severe drop in temperature may not come as a complete surprise for many Americans, as 63 percent of people say the weather has been getting more extreme during the past few years, while six percent say it’s gotten less extreme and about 3-in-10 (29 percent) say it hasn’t changed.

Supreme Court Addresses New Challenges to Obamacare Contraception Mandate

January 7, 2014

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued an injunction December 31 temporarily blocking a portion of the Affordable Care Act that requires religious organizations to offer health care plans covering contraceptives.

Colorado Won’t be the Only State to Legalize Marijuana Sales for Long

January 3, 2014

As marijuana became legal this week in Colorado, the state became the only place in the world where marijuana is regulated from seed to sale. The historic move follows an important shift in public opinion on the legalization of marijuana — in 2013, a majority of Americans supported legalizing the drug for the first time.

Democrats Believe Minimum Wage Will Be a Winning Issue in 2014. Are They Right?

December 31, 2013

As Democratic and Republican congressional candidates prepare for the 2014 local and national elections, each party is seeking to find an issue that will rally support among voters; according to Jonathan Martin and Michael D. Shear’s latest for The New York Times, Democratic Party leaders may have found it in their efforts to increase the minimum wage.

Polarized Holiday Shopping: Are you Target and Starbucks, or Wal-Mart and Dunkin’ Donuts?

December 19, 2013

Packed parking lots, long lines, and crowds of customers make shopping one of the most visible hallmarks of the holiday season across the country. This year, Americans who celebrate Christmas plan to purchase gifts totaling an average of $914, according to PRRI’s latest survey, conducted in partnership with Religion News Service.

Nearly Two-Thirds of Gun Laws Since Newtown Loosen Restrictions

December 11, 2013

Just after the Newtown shootings one year ago this week, most Americans favored strengthening gun control laws. But in the 12 months following the attack that left 20 students and six adult staff members at Sandy Hook Elementary School dead, more states have actually loosened gun control laws than tightened them.

Pope Francis I Named Time Magazine’s 2013 Person of the Year

December 11, 2013

Pope Francis, the first Latin American pontiff in Church history, has amassed significant support among one the fastest growing groups in the American Catholic Church — Hispanic Catholics.

Miss PRRI’s Latest Immigration Report? Check Out National Media Coverage Here!

December 2, 2013

In case you missed it, PRRI’s latest immigration survey report, What Americans (Still) Want From Immigration Reform, received significant national media coverage last week.

PRRI’s Newest Immigration Report Receives Comprehensive Coverage in The New York Times

November 25, 2013

Prominently featured both online and in The New York Times print edition today is an article by Julia Preston on PRRI’s latest report, What Americans (Still) Want from Immigration Reform, released just today at the American Academy of Religion Annual Conference!

Melissa Deckman on the Limits of Libertarianism for Women

November 22, 2013

Affiliated scholar and PRRI board member Dr. Melissa Deckman discusses the gender gap in libertarianism today.

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