Thursday, August 30, 2012

Can we end the media created "abortion is so important to all pro-choice women" myth?

Watching the Today Show this morning as Matt Lauer interviewed Jeb Bush regarding the convention, Lauer asked a question which contains an assumption I've heard or read over and over again. Transcript from Newsbusters:
"Governor Romney has chipped away at the gender gap....But some people worry that the addition of Paul Ryan to this ticket, and bringing with him his staunchly conservative views on topics like abortion, will slow that momentum? Do you share that fear?"

Over and over again I've heard this belief that there are millions upon millions of women who vote solely or mostly based on abortion or there are women who like Mitt Romney but are so turned off by the Republican Party's position on abortion that they'll vote for Obama. This is a myth.

Also, who are these "some people" that worry?

Abortion is a huge issue for a small percentage of the electorate. For example, here's the results of a January 2012 NY Times/CBS poll asking about most important issues.
3. In deciding who you would like to see elected President this year, which one of thefollowing issues will be most important to you: 1. Abortion, or 2. The federal budget deficit, or 3. The economy, or 4. Health care, or 5. Illegal immigration, or 6. Something else? IF SOMETHING ELSE, ASK: What is that? ISSUES WERE ROTATED.

Abortion 3
Federal budget deficit 15
Economy 56
Health care 14
Illegal immigration 5
Something else 6

3% says abortion is the most important issue for them. Guess what? If they're pro-choice, they're not voting for Romney regardless of who his running mate is.

An ABC exit poll from the 2010 elections for people who voted for Congressional candidates shows that what someone thinks on abortion hardly budges voting for the vast majority of voters.

Which comes closest to your position? Abortion should be: (2,772 respondents)

Voted For Democrat (D) Voted For Republican (R)

Legal in all cases
19% of Respondents 51% 49%
Legal in most cases
23% of Respondents 45% 55%
Illegal in most cases
25% of Respondents 46% 54%
Illegal in all cases
28% of Respondents 50% 50%

See that? For people at the ends of the spectrum of abortion positions, they still voted half the time for Republicans and half the time for Democrats despite the huge difference in the position's of the Congressional candidates.

National Right to Life and the SBA List have results from other exit polls which show that for the small percentage of voters who view abortion as a top or top-ish election issues, the large majority are prolifers.

So regardless of what the producers of all the political news shows believe, it is simply not true that being prolife hurts candidates in national elections. There isn't some army of suburban women ready to flee the Republican party and vote for Democrats because Paul Ryan doesn't have exceptions for rape and incest. If you're ready to vote for Barack Obama because of Paul Ryan's position on abortion, then guess what? You were never planning on voting for Mitt Romney anyway and most likely you're one of the phony Republicans the Democrats always find.

In reality, the percentage of people who vote mainly/solely based on abortion policies is small and it appears the large majority of them are prolife.

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