Gallup: “More Americans ‘Pro-Life’ Than ‘Pro-Choice’ for First Time”

I greet Gallup’s most recent poll indicating that there are more Pro-Life Americans than Pro-Choice with qualified optimism. Qualified, because the split essentially flipped from 50% pro-choice and 44% pro-life last year to 42%/51% this year. I wonder why? Gallup has some theories:

With the first pro-choice president in eight years already making changes to the nation’s policies on funding abortion overseas, expressing his support for the Freedom of Choice Act, and moving toward rescinding federal job protections for medical workers who refuse to participate in abortion procedures, Americans — and, in particular, Republicans — seem to be taking a step back from the pro-choice position. However, the retreat is evident among political moderates as well as conservatives.
It is possible that, through his abortion policies, Obama has pushed the public’s understanding of what it means to be “pro-choice” slightly to the left, politically. While Democrats may support that, as they generally support everything Obama is doing as president, it may be driving others in the opposite direction.

They also mention the Obama at Notre Dame controversy. The shift was particularly evident among men, conservatives and moderates. To which Peter Lawler offers the political observation that:

Whether this new climate of opinion benefits the Republicans depends, of course, on leadership. Obama’s Court nomination will give our guys another chance to explain what ROE etc. actually say and why they were wrongly decided. The truth is they haven’t been so good at that so far. It also presents another chance to explain why if Republicanism becomes libertarianism or even Specterism it will not only lose its soul, but lose elections.

Regardless of the politics, I hope that the trend continues.
UPDATE: More thoughts here.

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14 years ago

Could the inspiring real life example of Gov. Sarah Palin have something to do with this reconsideration by some people ?

14 years ago

Sean, I sure hope so.

14 years ago

I’ve seen the number fluctuate when abortion is in the news – i.e., partial-birth abortion debate tends to drive the number up a little. Maybe this whole flap over Obama speaking at Notre Dame has, too.
But when was the last time a candidate rode a hardcore anti-abortion stance to victory? That side always ends up overplaying its hand when it imposes a litmus test.
Also, keep in mind that pro-choice liberals are willing to vote for pro-life candidates – I’ve done it myself. Pro-life voters seem to be one-issue voters, which may be why the pro-life side hasn’t accomplished all its legislative goals.

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