Sunday, June 30, 2013

Gallup Poll Finds Americans Misjudge Abortion Views of Other Americans; Most Americans Strongly Oppose Second Trimester Abortions

In May 2013, Gallup again polled the abortion issue, this time to focus on people's perception of where Americans actually stand versus their actual position. The results were interesting. This from the narrative:
PRINCETON, NJ -- When asked how they think most Americans feel about the abortion issue, 51% of U.S. adults say the public is mostly "pro-choice," while 35% say "pro-life." This general perception that the pro-choice viewpoint prevails contrasts with the nearly even division of Americans' actual views. The same poll finds that 48% of Americans call themselves pro-life and 45% pro-choice....
Political moderates are the most likely among major demographic and political subgroups to believe the pro-choice position dominates nationally. They are closely followed by "pro-choice" Americans, Westerners, Democrats, and nonwhites. Republicans, conservatives, and "pro-life" Americans are the only groups that are about evenly split in their perceptions of which abortion viewpoint is the more prevalent. No group mostly sees pro-lifers as dominant.
I can't say I'm surprised.  I always get a kick out of my left-wing friends who insist the abortion issue is killing Republicans.  In fact, the Gallup poll, which shows Americans pretty much evenly split on abortion, only hints at why the issue is not a good one for Democrats contrary to popular perception and media spin.  Historically pro-life voters vote on the issue much more frequently than do pro-choice voters.  So even if the polling is 50-50, if one side is voting on the issue and the other isn't, it is a problem for politicians who are on the wrong side.

I often tell the story of when I ran for the House in 2000 in a district on the northwest side of Indianapolis.  When you go door-to-door, voters will often ask you your view on a major issue that is key to how they'll vote.  After you tell them your position, they will tell you theirs.  My position on abortion was the most frequently asked question during the primary round.  Every last Republican voter who asked me about the issue during the primary round was pro life.  After winning the primary, I started hitting the doors of voters who had no primary history or only a limited Democratic primary history in an effort to hit the more independent voters.  I expected the abortion issue would be much more mixed.  I was wrong.  Again, the most frequent question was abortion. Again, every voter who asked me about that issue in the general election round turned out to be pro life.  I literally knocked on thousands of doors that election season and not a single pro choice person raised the abortion issue.  This was in an urban area, with then about a 40% minority population.  That is not surprising as African-Americans and Latinos often poll as being more pro-life than white Americans.  According to Gallup, Nonwhites identify as being majority pro-life by 51-37, while whites are majority pro-choice 48-46.

While pro-choicers claim that the abortion issue hurts Republicans with women the fact is there is little difference between men and women when it comes to the abortion issue.  According to Gallup 46% of women identify as being pro-life as opposed to 50% of men.  Not exactly a huge margin, though notably a slight reversal of earlier polling that showed women being more supportive of abortion. 

Where Republicans lose the issue is when they allow Democrats to define the abortion issue as being about the rare exceptions, i.e. rape and incest.   Republicans lose also when they support legislative proposals that sound like very intrusive medical procedures.  Supporting something called "vaginal probes" is not going to go over well with the public.    But the issue of abortion is in general clearly a loser for the Democratic Party and has been since Roe v. Wade.

Now we have a state senator from Texas, Wendy Davis, who wants to fight the battle to preserve abortion after 5 months.  One of the liberal commentators on the Fox News Sunday morning show, NPR's Mara Liasson said that on immigration, same sex marriage and other social issues, Republicans are on the wrong side, but when it comes to second trimester abortion, Republicans are on solid footing.

Indeed they are.  Just as Republicans are foolish to let the abortion issue be defined by focusing the debate on the rape and incest exceptions (which amount to about 1% of the abortions), the Democrats are likewise foolish if they fall into the trap of allowing the abortion issue be about protecting second term abortions (which account for about 9% of the total), which are so brutal and gruesome that I will not describe them here.

Let's look at the polling on the issue that Wendy Davis was defending, the right to abortion more than 5 months into pregnancy.  Ironically the poll by United Technologies/National Journal came out right before the Wendy Davis filibuster in response to a bill passed by the United States House.

Here are some things interesting about the poll. Women support the 20 week ban on abortions more than men.  Younger people support the ban more than older Americans.  The latter, not discussed thus far, is not surprising. While the other major social issue - same sex marriage - appears to be a generational time bomb for Republicans, the GOP's pro-life position has actually seen a slight but significant uptick in support among younger people in most polls.  Undoubtedly the reason why is the facts of prenatal development that have become even more undeniable with modern technology such as sonograms..  While the same sex marriage opposition is almost always cast in religious terms, there are solid reasons to oppose abortion, especially later term abortions, that have nothing to do with religion.  Any parents who have been provided a sonogram of their unborn child know what those reasons are.

Undoubtedly the question of the United Technologies, which included the provision about "rape and incest that are reported to the authorities," significantly knocked down the support for the second trimester ban.  If you look at a December 2012 Gallup Poll which asked the second trimester ban question without that provision, 64% supported the ban while 27% opposed it.  When Gallup first asked the question in 1996, 65% supported the ban while 26% opposed it.

Thus, an overwhelming majority of Americans have strongly opposed second trimester abortion for at least 17 years.  If the Democrats want to make future elections a mandate on keeping second and third trimester abortions legal, I'm sure the Republicans would welcome that debate.


Unknown said...

If we're going to go by the polls then gay marriage should be legal, marijuana should be legal, the rich should pay more in taxes, Wall Street and the banks should be regulated more, and more background checks for gun buyers. Isn't that democracy? Thanks Paul, you make this easy.

Ellen said...

I thought the GOP was the party of less government.

Oh. Except when it comes to regulating women's bodies.

Such hypocrisy!

Cato said...

Paul, please stop. There is no such thing as a "trimester." Euphemisms such as that allow all manner of evils to be conducted in absence of full moral awareness.

If people saw what was being killed, they wouldn't support the practice nearly as much.

Cato said...

Ellen, you truly are stupid.

This is the great difficulty in dealing with the Left; they're unrepentant liars.

As you well know, liar, the pro-life movement wishes you all the best for your body but implores the government to fulfill its most basic obligation of preventing you from killing another's body.

Unknown said...

Cato, it's none of your business. I thought your side wanted the government out of health care. You people care about the unborn more than the born. Not everyone believes what you believe, that's what freedom is about.

Unknown said...

Cato, you're the stupid one. Just because your church indoctrinates their followers into being pro-life. Yes, indoctrinated, I see kids wearing pro-life shirts. Freedom of religion doesn't mean we all have to live by your religious morality. That's what the Taliban does, and not what this country is about. It's called FREEDOM. Maybe you should move to a Muslim county under Sharia Law, that's where your beliefs fit.

Cato said...

Sadie, it's as much my business as if someone were to try to kill you on the street. Our basic moral commitment is to preserve individual sovereignty. Murder is the ultimate breach of the social contract.

Murder isn't permissible as long as we can't see the victim.

Cato said...
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Cato said...

Straw Man Sadie,

Knock it off, liar. What's this "church" you introduced into the discussion out of thin air?

All of my arguments are secular, yours, illogical.

The Left will lie, lie, lie to get its way.

Unknown said...

Oh you're one of those. Never mind, you don't like facts, just hate and blame everything on the left. Pathetic.

I bet you don't give a damn about the people being killed by guns do you, Cato? Do you want stricter gun laws, You're a phony.

You don't want freedom, you want everyone to live by your morality. You're more Taliban than American.

Unknown said...

So abortion is murder because you say so? And I'm illogical? Thanks for the laugh, fool.

Cato said...


The argument is yours to make. Prove how abortion isn't murder, and you'll have won the point.

Unknown said...

If something can not live on itself, it's not a living creature. An embryo can not survive on it's on therefore it's not a living creature. Therefore it's not murder, therefore you lose. It's sperm and an egg, not a gift from God. It's science, I know your kind doesn't like facts or science, but I've proven it. Now get out of doctor's office, and take the government with you.

If you're against abortion, don't have one. If you're against other people having an abortion, you need to get a life.

By the way, please tell me what lefty lied us into Iraq? Or lied that the Bush tax cuts would create jobs? Turn off Rush and Fox News and try thinking for yourself.

Cato said...

"If something can not live on itself, it's not a living creature."

Let's correct the terms, replacing "something" with "human."

Your argument is that if a human cannot live on itself, it's free to be killed in complete absence of moral accountability?

Unknown said...

It's an embryo, it's not a human. I have proven the point, and you lost. Now go away.

Unknown said...

And there you go again with your definition of morality everyone should live by, Mr. Taliban.

Cato said...

Sadie, your last two posts didn't make any sense. We're talking about abortion, and you're still talking about embryos.

Did you take enough Biology to know it's only an embryo for two months?

Clean up your posts so we can attempt to have a discussion.

Unknown said...

I see Mr. Taliban is an idiot and a sore loser.

Unknown said...

You sir, Mr. Taliban may go screw yourself with a transvaginal probe.

Unknown said...

m·bry·o (mbr-)
n. pl. em·bry·os
a. An organism in its early stages of development, especially before it has reached a distinctively recognizable form.
b. An organism at any time before full development, birth, or hatching.

I'm finished with you, dummy.

Cato said...

As I said, the Left is comprised of liars and the ignorant.

Our "Sadie" proves the charge.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...
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Hoosier in the Heartland said...

Cato: the last person in the world I want controlling my body is a pompous fool such as you.

I could make an argument that requiring a woman by law to carry an infant to term is just another form of involuntary servitude, but you wouldn't get it.

People without uteruses should not be making laws controlling the actions regarding the conduct of those who do.

RhondaLeeBaby69 said...


You wrote 'There is no such thing as a "trimester."'

That may well be the dumbest thing ever written on this blog.

Indy Rob said...

Sadie, according to you "If something can not live on itself, it's not a living creature.".

So when someone has had a heart attack, been in an auto accident, or otherwise badly injured, it is alright with you to let that person die?

And then based on actuarial data for premature infants who received neonatal care, show that 6% of those European male infants born at 22 weeks survive, 24% of those born at 24 weeks survive, 58% of those born at 26 weeks survive. The survival rates for European female infants are higher at 8%, 29%, and 63% at the same gestational ages.

And you would be fine with letting those premature infants die since they can not live on their own?

Unknown said...

Rob, I really need to explain to you the difference between something that was never born/alive with that someone that born/alive then in a car wreck or suffers an heart attack. Really? You really don't see the difference? EPIC FAIL on your part.

Unknown said...

Cato Rush Taliban, please tell me what lefties lied us into the Itaq War and didn't pay for it? Please answer me. I beg you too. You dumb, ignorant jackass.

Pete Boggs said...

People struggle with conscience, guilt and / or past decisions they've made. However, one's struggle doesn't justify the murder of another; irrespective of what the "law" says.

Unless murder has been somehow categorically redefined, as late term abortion; there is no sound argument for abortion.

Those bent on picking winners & losers should employ contraceptive conscience & accept responsibility for the decisions they make.

Don't give us the "it's my body" crap, if, your asking our bodies to labor in payment for decisions you make, or participate in destroying the bodies / lives of the innocent, irrationally & narcissistically mischaracterized as "inconvenient."

Unknown said...

It's ironic that the same people that call abortion murder and talk about how precious life is don't give a fuck about all the people dying from guns. Don't want to restrict guns in anyway. You're a bunch of religious zealots/phonies. Stay out of my life. It's none of your business what women choose to do with their bodies. It's called freedom. It's called privacy. It's none of your god damn business what my doctor and I discuss. Background checks are evasive by vaginal probes are fine. Fuck off.

Unknown said...

Cato Taliban, I'm still waiting to hear what lefties lied about Iraq being behind 9-11? What leftie lied about Iraq having nuclear bombs? What leftie lied about the cost of the Iraq War? What leftie said Iraq's oil would pay for the cost of the war? What leftie lied about the Bush Tax Cuts creating jobs? All you can do is regurgitate Fox News talking points, you pathetic man.

Pete Boggs said...

Slavery to a narrative does not a point of logic make...

Animating the inanimate (guns, the Constitution, SUV's, etc.) and / or expletive distraction, is the stagecraft of deception- not logic!

Opponents of abortion or murder, aren't seeking to ban scalpels or surgical scissors. It's the act that's a problem (!!!); not the implements abused to commit those heinous acts.

Ellen said...

Abortion cannot be heinous as it is not grossly wicked, reprehensible or abominable.

It's legal, and has been for decades.

In fact, it has been for eons -- except for a brief period following the initial medicalization of childbirth, it was something between a woman and her midwife.

Pete Boggs said...

Slavery was once legal, yet it was grossly wicked, reprehensible & abominable- heinous!

Unknown said...

Pete, how do you murder/kill something that is NOT living? And slavery still exist, now we just have to import it. It's murder because you say it is. It's not an embryo because Cato says it's not. You're both idiots, that need to get a life. Keep your religious/fairy tale bullshit theories and morality out of other people's life. It's very Un-American.

Pete Boggs said...

SP: Fish are living creatures who exchange O2 through gills; where the unborn do the same via a circulatory system shared with their mothers. While the conditions are different, newborns are no less dependent than the unborn; their "viability" is a matter reliability, on those who brought them into the world.

Your "logic" seems to rely on a narrow narrative, of birth as a singular definition for life; ignoring all that, which is characteristic of life, for reasons known only to you but which you struggle to confront (like most of us do).

Stupid? Religious? When did it become smart or when was it somehow a profound act of "logic," to trump reason (how babies are made) with emotion (denial of the result, categorically as "unwanted")?

Forget whatever it is that you consider to be religion & explain how that view is "enlightened" or smart. And, don't reboot / pose emotion as credible logic; that which is other than volume, vulgarity or bullyragging.

Unknown said...

Fish? Really? You're talking about fish? I'm not even going to dignify that stupidity with a response. God is a fictional character. If you want to believe in that, or the Easter bunny, or unicorns I'm all for it. But when you want to make everyone live by your fairy tale believes I have a problem with it. Your the bully, wanting to make everyone live by your fairy tale believes. That's why it angers me and wants me to call you an ignorant fuck. If the shoe gits, wear it. Slavery still exists, and so will abortion whether it legal or not. That's why people far smarter than you made it legal, to keep it as safe as possible. If you have your way it will just go back to hangers in allies. You stupid, ignorant religious fuck.

Hoosier in the Heartland said...

In modern society, murder is a legal definition, not a moral one.

Abortion is legal.

Your objections are religious -- and therefore not relevant to the rest of us who do not share your religious views.

Get your personal objections to legal procedures away from my personal liberty.

Pete Boggs said...

SP, HIH: Slavery does exist, in the tax code, uninformed consent of the "governed," etc.

Slavery by name, was "legal" at a point in our & world history, objections to which were / are moral; morality being the underpinning of law, much of the foundation / basis for which comes from... religion. Go to your local , over priced / subsidized library & "read more about it." Observations about the aforementioned aren't themselves "religious," don't know where that comes from but perhaps you've been exposed to religious folks you can't tolerate (?).

It's interesting that you appear to think vulgarity somehow makes a point beyond vulgarity. There's detectable violence in your vulgarity (read also intolerance), due to your inability & frustration, to engage in a reasonable or relevant discussion. How could that possibly make you "feel good?"

Unknown said...

Pete, what you don't seem to understand, and no library will help you, is that because you define Murder, vulgar doesn't make it so. That's just your little-minded, arrogant opinion. That's fine but in your little mind you think everyone should live by your definition, and that's not fine. You're a dumbass if you don't think slavery still exists. It doesn't in the American south, although with the right to work laws it might be headed back. However it's very much alive (unlike embryos) in Dubaii, China, and other places you don't seem to care about even though you claim to be a God fearing humanitarian. Maybe you should leave your church that obviously indoctrinated you, and educate yourself. And you never did explain to me why you don't seem to care about people dying by gun violence? Why the people that are actually alive and dying, you don't want to do anything about. I know why, you're a fucking hypocrite. Did my words offend you? Good. You offend me. And all those tax cuts GOPers give businesses...those are SUBSIDIES, dummy.

Pete Boggs said...

SP: Among "progressives," offense is more import than export. "Progressives" by nature (read slavish devotion); are fashionably predisposed to being "offended."

It's hard to be offended by people you don't know & if I intended to "offend" you (which FYI, I did not)- I'd leave no doubt in your mind about that.

Is it somehow "arrogant" to disagree? Who's advocating murder as a "choice," while ignoring earlier choices (how babies get here) which the entitled then consider a "mistake" & ask others to pay for (abort a portion of life & labor, in zip lipped, mortgaged service to imperial impulses)?

Tis you who've mentioned God & religion in this post where libertine, secular logic would suffice. Mischaracterizing things that others haven't said (i.e. endorsing violence by whatever means, gunz 'er udderwise) isn't convincing.

BTW, RTW legislation is a mere restatement of that which is intrinsic to the owner of labor, the individual; in response to unionized, officious intrusion in the form of theoretic "legislation."

Maple Syrup Maven said...


Abortion is legal.

Therefore, abortion is a permitted action.

It is NOT murder.

Unknown said...

Pete, you're an arrogant blowhard. I'm glad you are powerless and meaningless, and soon the GOP will be too. GOP = American Taliban Some of us, the truly enlightened, can see it for what it is.

Pete Boggs said...

MS, SP: Sharia law is considered "legal" in parts of the world & again, to remind you, slavery was once "legal" here & other parts of the world. SP, the GOP is already meaningless- just another name of indistinct brand of statism, whatever that has to do with the murderous "practice" of abortion. You've aborted reasoned discussion in favor of narrative script & palliative defense mechanisms. Abortion appears to be the sacrament of backward statists / communists / socialists. If you study, you'll discover foundational links between panned parenthood, eugenics & outright racism.

It's always interesting to experience these "discussions" at family & friend gatherings, where people holding your views all to frequently respond with abusive, outa control volume & then "refuse to discuss" it any further; the obvious reason being one of topical impairment.

Arrogance? it's your contention that people agree with & even subsidize pleasurable impulses that you later / retrospectively consider "mistakes." The wants of a few are not a legitimate mortgage or requirement on the life & times of others; forced to abort irreplaceable moments of their lives / time in service to those impulses. The un-welcomed / uninvited contact is perpetrated by those sharing your "opinions."

If it's not life, why seek to "terminate" it? And if you're sincerely bent on limiting pregnancies, why not deal with the obvious (how babies get here)?