Given the centrality of abortion to the ObamaCare debate, the latest news from Gallup should have Democrats concerned about the future of their party. They spent the last few months attempting to push through Congress a mechanism that would provide federal funding of abortions, which has stalled the bill in the House and threatens to kill ObamaCare. As Democrats attempt this, the youth vote that they so assiduously courted in 2008 has grown more anti-abortion:
Two important changes are apparent. One is a significant drop in the percentage of seniors saying all abortions should be illegal. This fell from 32% in the earliest years of the trend to 16% in the first half of the 1990s, but has since rebounded somewhat to 21%. This long-term 11-point decline among seniors compares with a 9-point increase — from 14% to 23% — in support for the “illegal in all circumstances” position among 18- to 29-year-olds since the early 1990s.
As a result, 18- to 29-year-olds are now roughly tied with seniors as the most likely of all age groups to hold this position on abortion — although all four groups are fairly close in their views. This is a sharp change from the late 1970s, when seniors were substantially more likely than younger age groups to want abortion to be illegal.
The “illegal in all circumstances” is an absolutionist position, and is a minority opinion among all groups. However, also among all groups, support for restrictions on abortion have been rising since the mid-1990s. That has a majority among all age groups in this latest survey. The best that “legal in all circumstances” scores is 28% among the 30-49 age group. With younger voters, only 24% believe in total legality.
Gallup did not poll on the question of public funding for abortion, but one can assume that those believing in total illegality are not likely to cheer for public funding. As the youth vote becomes more pro-life, they will also become more opposed to their tax dollars paying for abortions at any level. The more that the Democratic Party makes itself the party of abortion, the less these voters will remain loyal to them.
The ObamaCare bill is deeply unpopular for many reasons, and for young people, abortion should be a secondary consideration to the economic exploitation they will experience from the individual mandate. Abortion is a lot easier to understand, though, and expect the chicanery Democrats conducted to protect it to be remembered.