Green Room

Re: Rasmussen’s Abortion Poll

posted at 4:59 pm on November 15, 2012 by

The American electorate has suddenly and overwhelmingly embraced the pro-choice position on abortion (54/38), if a new Rasmussen poll is to be believed.  This would mark an implausible reversal compared to other national surveys conducted just a few months ago.   In May, Gallup found that the percentage of self-described “pro-choice” Americans has plummeted to a new low (41 percent), with pro-lifers representing the majority view (50 percent).  In August, a CNN national poll also showed pro-life Americans outnumbering pro-choicers (52/44), with women splitting evenly on the overall question.  So what explains Rasmussen’s latest data?  I think two elements are at play here:

(1) Conservatives are demoralized and regrouping right now.  Just a hunch, but I suspect they’re less likely than ever to answer polling calls at this point in time, whereas the victorious side is eager to talk to pollsters.  That’s basic human nature.

(2) In the CNN poll, which resulted in a pro-life majority, mind you,  the overwhelming consensus of respondents (83/14) was that legalized abortion should be an option in the relatively rare circumstance of pregnancy caused by rape.  Thanks to Todd Akin and (to a lesser extent) Richard Mourdock  — and, of course, the media — Americans have been hearing a lot about pro-life male politicians bungling explanations about why virtually all abortions should be illegal.   “Well, I don’t agree with that,” people think to themselves.  This is why it is imperative for pro-life candidates — men especially — to learn how to talk about the issue in a way that isn’t alienating and scary, even to people who might otherwise think of themselves as pro-life.

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