Rasmussen: 54% now call themselves pro-choice, 38% pro-life

posted at 9:30 pm on November 15, 2012 by Allahpundit

Wait a sec, you say. Didn’t Gallup find just six months ago that the number who describe themselves as “pro-choice” was at a record low? Indeed they did.

But as the saying goes, my friends: Elections have consequences.

More voters than ever now identify themselves as pro-choice when it comes to abortion, and most rate the issue as important to how they vote.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 54% describe themselves as pro-choice on the issue of abortion, while 38% say they are pro-life.

Let’s look at trends on abortion in a few recent polls. This one, from a WSJ poll in mid-October, isn’t too helpful because the only point of reference is data from March 2005. Even so, there’s a shift:

This, from a CNN poll taken in late August, is much more revealing:

Nice and steady there in the mid-20s for “legal under any circumstances” over the past five years — until suddenly, in August of this year, the number jumps. Why? Well, what else happened in August this year? Right: Todd Akin opened his yapper about “legitimate rape” and women’s supposed biological defense mechanisms against it and that was the beginning of the end for Republican chances to take back the Senate. How big a deal was it? Weeks later, the NYT poll was seeing more support for the idea that abortion should be “generally available” than it had in over 15 years:

The first column shows those who want abortion generally available, the second column shows those who think it should be available with stricter limits. Follow the last link and check the data and you’ll find that the last time “generally available” hit 42% was February 1995. Some of the movement may be due to Democrats’ relentless “war on women” messaging independent of Akin, but Akin was the rocket fuel they needed for it, I think. Nothing strange about that, really: Sentiments about abortion can shift quite sharply based on recent political circumstances. Remember what happened in Gallup’s polling on this subject shortly after O was inaugurated in 2009? Right — there was a sudden leap in the number who describe themselves as “pro-life,” to the point where it overtook “pro-choice” for the first time ever. That was mainly a reaction, I think, from abortion fencesitters who suddenly worried that O and his Democratic Congress might try to expand abortion rights too far. You’re seeing the opposite play out now with Akin, I suspect. Between him and Mourdock, fencesitters are alarmed at what they’re hearing about rape and are identifying as pro-choice to signal their opposition. That’ll level off in time, but it’s proof positive that Republicans lost more than just Senate seats when they said what they said. People who claimed that two inadvertently did damage to their own socially conservative cause weren’t kidding.


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This is what happens when you let the pro-life be defined by idiots who don’t believe in a rape exemption.

That’s exactly right, and because Social Conservatives throw all reason out the door when they discuss this issue, they have lost the argument for good.

99.9% of abortions are basically a form of birth control from being reckless, that’s what should have been focused on to form a coalition, but the window has passed. The pro-life purists are their own worst enemy, every time the pro-abortion crowd sets this trap, they walk right into it. Akin and Mourdock were the last straw.

Just like Democrats dropped the prohibition on capital punishment, you’re going to see some major compromises on abortion from the GOP.

We can no longer afford to cede half the nation to Democrats on a public policy issue that is now largely abstract and has no basis in reality.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 11:29 AM

This was demagogued to hell and back. It makes no difference to the correctness of the pro-life position that two losing Senate candidates couldn’t respond effectively to the usual trap questions. There is zero reason to compromise.

Missy on November 16, 2012 at 11:34 AM

because Social Conservatives throw all reason out the door when they discuss this issue, they have lost the argument for good.

LOL. Children are dying and we’re the ones being unreasonable.

Not sure what you mean by losing the argument. Our arguments are correct, whether we’re in the minority or not.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 11:42 AM

LOL. Children are dying and we’re the ones being unreasonable.

Not sure what you mean by losing the argument. Our arguments are correct, whether we’re in the minority or not.

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Your side forgets that there’s a difference between making a moral argument and making an argument for public policy.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

Honestly, Rs are going to have to impose some kind of test on all their candidates…or a battery of tests. looking for low iq, impulsivity, and personality traits that doom them and the party all at once

i mean, they used to do that for senior management…why not. I’d rather have certified candidates that certifiable candidates.

r keller on November 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM

…excellent idea…if the GOP had screened Mittens, we wouldn’t have had to go thorugh all of this heartache now.

Pragmatic on November 16, 2012 at 12:06 PM

With todays medicine and drugs there should never be a need for one single abortion [...]

bgibbs1000 on November 16, 2012 at 9:28 AM

You know not what you speak of bgibbs1000. This pathetically sad tale of a 31-yo mother dying because she was refused a termination is the main topic of discussion around kitchen tables in Ireland at the moment (as well as being all over the news), and there will almost certainly be some legal changes because of it.

Related datapoint: Ireland has one of the lowest maternal death rates in the world, about a third of the rate in the US, so this is not due to third-world medical quackery; this woman died because of “pro-life” policy.

zarathustra on November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

get a clue: Pro-choice IS NOT EQUAL TO Pro-abortion…..if the GOP and its followers learn this rule then they will instantly become more palatable to the American public

Pragmatic on November 16, 2012 at 12:09 PM

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Yes, I’m against it – which you’d know if you read what I wrote in this thread prior to your comments.

Your side forgets that there’s a difference between making a moral argument and making an argument for public policy.

Wrong. I’m well aware of the difference, which is why I voted for Romney. But I’ll never stop making the argument in either arena.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 12:38 PM

Once more without the bungled quotes…

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Yes, I’m against it – which you’d know if you read what I wrote in this thread prior to your comments.

Your side forgets that there’s a difference between making a moral argument and making an argument for public policy.

Wrong. I’m well aware of the difference, which is why I voted for Romney. But I’ll never stop making the argument in either arena.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

zarathustra on November 16, 2012 at 12:07 PM

There’s a lot of speculation in that article, and very little medical fact. To wit:

“(Her family) believe the delay in allowing her the termination caused blood poisoning and ultimately her death on 27 October.”

They are…not doctors. Has it been proved that the miscarriage caused the septicemia?

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Yes, I’m against it – which you’d know if you read what I wrote in this thread prior to your comments.

Just so you know, that position is going to be run out on a rail in the GOP, and for good reason. The national party needs to take out any new candidates in primaries that espouse that position.

If that’s a deal breaker for you regarding the GOP, I’ll shed no tears at your exit.

Nothing has undermined the pro-life position more than pro-life purists like yourself insisting on not having an exception for cases of rape.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 12:51 PM

pro-life purists like yourself insisting on not having an exception for cases of rape.

Web of lies.

Did you miss the part where I said I voted for Romney?

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Yes, I’m against it – which you’d know if you read what I wrote in this thread prior to your comments.
[...]
mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Although I’m basically pro-choice, I have sympathy for pro-life folks who are opposed to the “rape exception”; it could seem like a logical progression that if it is morally wrong to terminate a fetus, it is wrong no matter the circumstances of conception. That said, I think there are other (valid) philosophical arguments you can make for the “rape exception”.

But mrsknightley (and this is possibly a harder case?), are you also against the health-of-the-mother exception, and if so, can you explain your reasoning? E.g. see the story I linked above.

zarathustra on November 16, 2012 at 12:57 PM

Jesus is dead.

It’s been 2,000 years.

He’s not coming back.

Have a nice day…

chumpThreads on November 16, 2012 at 8:34 AM

He’s alive and coming back. Have a good judgement day.

JellyToast on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

@zarathustra – thank you for beginning with kindness. I did comment on the article you linked. Here’s what I said upthread:

There’s a lot of speculation in that article, and very little medical fact. To wit:

“(Her family) believe the delay in allowing her the termination caused blood poisoning and ultimately her death on 27 October.”

They are…not doctors. Has it been proved that the miscarriage caused the septicemia?

As to the larger question, it seems only right to me that a mother be willing to sacrifice herself for her child. To me that’s part of the job description. If I were in that situation – and I’ve told my husband this – my wish would be for the doctors to fight like hell to save us both but not to take any action that would endanger our baby. The rest is up to God.

I know, I know. Wish me luck getting the public at large to agree to that.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

This is sickening.

long_cat on November 16, 2012 at 1:20 PM

He’s alive and coming back. Have a good judgement day.

JellyToast on November 16, 2012 at 1:08 PM

I pity Chumpydumpy on that day. I’ll be nervous and I know I’ve made the right choice…he’ll be in soul-shaking terror before the line of souls gets within a mile of the Great Judge.

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 2:15 PM

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

It’s a hard thing to have to think about. My GF and I had a very serious talk about priorities if this should happen in the future.

It came down to if she’s able to she’ll vote for saving the baby and I’ll go along with that But if it comes down to me, I’ll tell the doctors to save my lady fair.

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

It’s a hard thing to have to think about. My GF and I had a very serious talk about priorities if this should happen in the future.

It came down to if she’s able to she’ll vote for saving the baby and I’ll go along with that But if it comes down to me, I’ll tell the doctors to save my lady fair.

MelonCollie on November 16, 2012 at 2:18 PM

I think the majority of women would take risks with their own life if it meant being able to help their baby to survive…but the really hard part, it would seem to me, is if there were already other children at home that she needs to consider as well.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 2:34 PM

Although I’m basically pro-choice, I have sympathy for pro-life folks who are opposed to the “rape exception”; it could seem like a logical progression that if it is morally wrong to terminate a fetus, it is wrong no matter the circumstances of conception. That said, I think there are other (valid) philosophical arguments you can make for the “rape exception”.

I can completely understand the “moral” argument for believing aborting a baby is wrong even in a case of rape, I happen to have the same belief.

But in terms of public policy, around 80-90% of people are emphatically against that in terms of the law, and I’d make a large wager that those who say they’re against a rape exception would be singing a different tune if it was their wife or daughter that was in a situation like that.

Take note of the swing in public opinions on the legality of abortion since the “no rape exception” position had it’s day in the court of public opinion. People have now stampeded into labeling themselves pro-choice.

The perfect is the enemy of the good.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

So you are against the “rape exception” for abortion? Yes or no?

Your side forgets that there’s a difference between making a moral argument and making an argument for public policy.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 11:47 AM

So you agree that the 1% of abortions performed with rape given as the reason justify the other 99% performed.

I want to hear the abortionists state that all abortions are justified by rape. That’s their argument. State it.

Why does rape justify unlimited taxpayer-funded abortions?

northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:15 PM

Take note of the swing in public opinions on the legality of abortion since the “no rape exception” position had it’s day in the court of public opinion. People have now stampeded into labeling themselves pro-choice.

BradTank on November 16, 2012 at 2:59 PM

Nope. Pro-abortion.

People who support abortion believe that taxpayers should be forced to pay for unlimited abortion, any time, any place.

The entire “pro-choice” labeling is bullsh*t. It’s not a choice; these people simply believe in all abortion, all the time, under any circumstances, with taxpayers footing the bill.

Anyone who supports abortion believes that babies should be left to die in broom closets. Period. They want to play the game with rape, throw it right back at them.

northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

People who support abortion believe that taxpayers should be forced to pay for unlimited abortion, any time, any place.

northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

I am pro-choice but do not believe that taxpayers should in any way be responsible for that choice. Those that seek an abortion should be required to pay for it themselves.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Anyone who supports abortion believes that babies should be left to die in broom closets. Period.
northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:18 PM

Quite a broad brush you paint us with. I believe in no such thing.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM

the really hard part, it would seem to me, is if there were already other children at home that she needs to consider as well.

My opinion doesn’t change, but I concede it’s tougher in this case.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

Quite a broad brush you paint us with. I believe in no such thing.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Of course you do. Just like anyone who is pro-life supports rape.

If you don’t like a broad brush being used on you, don’t use it on others.

I am pro-choice but do not believe that taxpayers should in any way be responsible for that choice. Those that seek an abortion should be required to pay for it themselves.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 3:29 PM

Then you believe in forcing a woman who has been raped to carry the baby to term if she doesn’t want to pay for the abortion.

Why do you hate women and want to force them to carry rape babies?

northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

Quite a broad brush you paint us with. I believe in no such thing.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Of course you do.

If you insist on telling me what my beliefs are then you don’t need me to have a discussion.

Just like anyone who is pro-life supports rape.If you don’t like a broad brush being used on you, don’t use it on others.

If you read my other posts on the thread you will see I never did any such thing.

Then you believe in forcing a woman who has been raped to carry the baby to term if she doesn’t want to pay for the abortion.

northdallasthirty on November 16, 2012 at 3:53 PM

.

Of course not, but the fees incurred for an abortion would still need to be between her and her doctor. No one else. If she doesn’t want to pay for some reason…her bill could be handled just like any other bill she chooses not to pay.

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 4:11 PM

I would continue this but I have some things I need to go do. I’ll check back later. :-)

lynncgb on November 16, 2012 at 4:15 PM

Well, that means 54% of the people polled are racists. Half of all black babies are aborted. Sounds like genocide to me. Anybody who supports this is trying to exterminate American blacks.

It’s that simple.

platypus on November 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM

In terms of right and wrong it’s never okay to kill a baby. We DO have the exception for life of the mother and we’ve ALWAYS had that exception. When the party of blood argues about the life of the mother issue it’s a straw man. Now in terms of public policy, if I were a politician, I would embrace the rape-exception because saving 99% of the babies being killed is better than saving 0% of the babies being killed.

One thing I always ask Christians is “When did Jesus become Jesus?”. When He was conceived, or when He was born. One was a miracle, the other just biology.

Abortion is the new slavery. Just like the democrats came up with every reason on Earth why it was okay to own somebody, they come up with an endless line of reasons why it’s okay to kill an innocent baby. They protect the guilty and kill the innocent.

Mojave Mark on November 16, 2012 at 7:00 PM

Well, that means 54% of the people polled are racists. Half of all black babies are aborted. Sounds like genocide to me. Anybody who supports this is trying to exterminate American blacks.

It’s that simple.

platypus on November 16, 2012 at 4:52 PM

Why yes, Margaret Sanger!

rottenrobbie on November 16, 2012 at 8:08 PM

http://www.blackgenocide.org/sanger.html

Sorry for the faulty link…

rottenrobbie on November 16, 2012 at 8:11 PM

Random thoughts after too many beers:

So at a conservative $300 per abortion and a million and a half dollars a year that makes abortion a pretty big freaking business. Pro-Choice = pro big business shills.

Perhaps the Patient Advisory Boards should refuse to pay for abortion because birth control is cheaper.

Maybe if Congress or the states passed more restrictive medical malpractice laws with respect to informed consent and emotional distress the trial lawyers would put the abortionists out of business. And don’t think they wouldn’t.

Why require payment of child support when women are just exercising a “choice”?

Abortions tend to be more common among minority populations. Isn’t this a form of discrimination? This is a much more insidious attempt to suppress minority vote than voter identification.

Republicans please don’t nominate any more navel-gazing-Forrest Gump halfwits like Akin and Mourdock. There are 2 Senators per state. There must be a way to be more selective for a candidate for a cake job.

nokarmahere on November 16, 2012 at 9:07 PM

As to the larger question, it seems only right to me that a mother be willing to sacrifice herself for her child. To me that’s part of the job description. If I were in that situation – and I’ve told my husband this – my wish would be for the doctors to fight like hell to save us both but not to take any action that would endanger our baby. The rest is up to God.

I know, I know. Wish me luck getting the public at large to agree to that.

mrsknightley on November 16, 2012 at 1:09 PM

mrsknightley, as I said earlier, I am basically pro-choice, but I think you’ve given me an opportunity to see the heartfelt way pro-life individuals can view abortion as a terrible grievance. Your willingness to sacrifice yourself for a not-yet-born child is very admirable in many ways, and seems evidence enough to suggest that you genuinely care about each and every foetus. I think the world wouldn’t need abortion if most women had even partly the same convictions as you, but it is a fallen world for many. For some, their lives would deteriorate further if they bore yet another child, and for others a child brought into the world would never know a true family, or could end up being overwhelmingly favored to spend time incarcerated, or may just end any chance of the mother ever rising above her station in life, and perhaps all-but-guaranteeing a life of misery for her. I don’t know if it’s hard for you to picture yourself in these other women’s positions, but for all of recorded history, some amount of women, for whatever reason, no matter how unavailable or illegal, have sought to terminate their pregnancies. There’s no reason to suspect this will change, no matter what the law. So, I’d prefer she be able to do it in the safety of a first-world clinic, rather than in a backroom with a piece of hanger wire. Because some woman somewhere will always find her pregnancy to be just too much for her soul to bear.

zarathustra on November 17, 2012 at 5:33 AM

@zarathustra – thanks, but as Lynn points out, many mothers would do the same.

I see nothing in what you’ve said to mitigate against adoption. Some burdens are valid and some are rooted in selfishness. Belonging to the human race requires that we strive to bear those burdens as best we can, not seek to visit the consequences of our actions on an innocent party.

I know I won’t change your mind with my arguments, nor will restrictive abortion laws change anyone else’s. Thanks for speaking more graciously than most on this issue.

mrsknightley on November 17, 2012 at 9:25 AM

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