Journalists tend to favor Democrats, which is no surprise, but their bias is especially pronounced on social issues such as abortion, an entrenched problem that dates back decades . We're often told by media apologists that the press is merely biased in favor of conflict, which helps explain why big state-level controversies on hot-button issues tend to make national news. Think of Arizona's SB 1070 on immigration, or Indiana's ( grossly mischaracterized ) religious freedom bill, or the ruckus over Texas' abortion law that outlawed most abortions after the fifth month of gestation. These were big national stories. Correspondents from New York and Washington descended on these state capitols, often framing Republicans as the bad guys pushing "divisive" laws. Left-wing State Senator Wendy Davis was a media darling as she fought against the Texas bill, with protesters storming the rotunda and interrupting votes . It was about "women's rights," you see. Never mind that women heavily supported the 20-week ban. Cast your mind back to those three major dust-ups I mentioned, then ask yourself whether you've heard anything about the Oregon legislation that even approaches that level of breathless, flood-the-zone coverage. This bill theoretically checks all the "conflict" boxes (except, perhaps, large organized protests disrupting legislative sessions), but passed with little notice. It seems as though certain controversial, or even radical, pieces of legislation dealing with red hot 'culture war' issues aren't terribly interesting to many in the press for some reason. What a mystery.
Following the First Reform Act, popular demand for wider suffrage was taken up by the mainly working-class movement, Chartism . Meanwhile Radical leaders like Richard Cobden and John Bright in the middle class Anti-Corn Law League emerged to oppose the existing duties on imported grain which helped farmers and landowners by raising the price of food but which harmed consumers and manufacturers. After the success of the League on the one hand, and the failure of Chartist mass demonstrations and petitions in 1848 to sway parliament on the other, demand for suffrage and parliamentary reform slowly re-emerged through the parliamentary radicals.