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Poll: Three-quarters of Americans support the Equal Rights Amendment

Poll: Three-quarters of Americans support the Equal Rights Amendment
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Nearly 75 percent of Americans support an Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

The AP/NORC poll found that roughly three-quarters of those surveyed said they support the ratification of the amendment, which would establish that equal rights cannot be denied or curtailed on the basis of gender, but 72 percent said they believed such a guarantee to already be enshrined in the Constitution. There is no constitutional measure addressing equal rights on the basis of gender.

The push to pass the amendment initially failed in the 1970s after pushback from conservative organizations derailed it before it could be ratified by the required three-quarters of state legislatures.

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Virginia’s new Democratic majority, however, has breathed new life into the push after becoming the 38th state to pass the amendment. Congress initially imposed a deadline of 1977, later extended to 1982. The House of Representatives is poised to vote to extend the ratification, but the extension’s fate in the GOP Senate is uncertain.

Support for the amendment crossed party lines, according to the survey, which found that a larger majority of self-identified Democrats — 90 percent — supported ratification, and 60 percent of self-identified Republicans supported the move.

The poll also found about half of Americans believe ratifying the amendment would positively affect the country, compared to four in 10 who believe it would make a negligible difference and one in 10 who believe it would be to the country’s detriment.

Nearly two-thirds said they believe it would positively affect women, while about two in 10 believe it would have a negative effect on men. Women are more likely than men to believe it would positively affect both the country and them personally.

The poll was conducted among a representative sample of 1,353 adults from Jan. 16-21 online and by phone. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.