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How the Abortion Issue Affected the Vote

November 05, 2010

A new post-election poll shows the issue of abortion helped pro-life candidates and played a role in the Republican shellacking of pro-abortion Democrats.  A survey conducted by the Polling Company firm found pro-life candidates enjoyed a definite advantage in yesterday's elections.  Thirty percent of all voters said that abortion "affected" their vote with 22% of all voters backing pro-life candidates and eight percent saying they supported pro-abortion candidates - giving pro-life candidates a net pro-life advantage of 14 percent among all voters.


Examined another way, of the Americans who voted based on the issue of abortion, 73 percent picked pro-life candidates while just 27 percent supported abortion advocates.


The post-election polling also found 27 percent of voters said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who opposed the health care law while just 4 percent said abortion funding in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who favored the law.


"This advantage is not new," says Karen Cross, the political director for the National Right to Life Committee. "In 1980, National Right to Life Political Action Committee was organized, and in the 30 years that followed, in election after election, among those voters who base their vote on abortion, National Right to Life has consistently seen a definite advantage for pro-life candidates over pro-abortion candidates."


NRLC executive director David O'Steen agreed, saying "Post-election polling has shown that pro-life issues played a major role in what happened at the polls yesterday and provided a margin sufficient to guarantee victory in many close races."


The Polling Company survey also found a majority continues to favor allowing abortion only in very rare circumstances.


Some 53 percent took a pro-life position against all abortions or allowing abortion at most in cases to save the life of the mother or in cases of rape or incest that compared with just 41% who would allow abortion regardless of the reason. And 25% of those who gave a pro-abortion response would allow abortion only in the first three months while the current policy under Roe vs. Wade allows abortion essentially throughout pregnancy for any reason.


O'Steen also noted that "National Right to Life has also repeatedly pointed out that the Obama Health Care Law, if allowed to go into effect, will mean massive rationing of health care including the rationing of life saving treatment. The public agrees and clearly showed last night that they oppose rationing.


"Forty-four percent of voters said rationing in the health care law affected their vote and they voted for candidates who opposed the health care law while only 10% said rationing in the health care bill affected their vote and they voted for candidates who favored the Obama Health Care Law," he said.


Overall 54% said they oppose the health care law (44% strongly) while only 39% favor it (26% strongly), the post-election poll showed.


Despite being vastly outspent by pro-abortion groups, candidates supported by National Right to Life PAC fared well with 235 of the 285 federal candidates NRLC supported winning their elections, or about 82 percent. In the most competitive 122 races in which the group targeted, 84 (or 74%) won, and some are still undecided.


"What a difference a year makes," Cross said. "Less than a year ago, naysayers were writing political obituaries for pro-life candidates.  The situation admittedly looked bleak.  Five pro-life senators decided to retire.  Many wanted us to believe that, after the 2008 election, pro-life Americans were fewer or less motivated.


"They were wrong on both counts," she added. "The political landscape changed drastically in the last few months. Pro-life voters don't just vote their pocketbooks, they also vote their values.  They vote their hearts.  They vote for the most vulnerable among us.  They are selfless and passionate and yesterday, they soundly voted against Obama's abortion agenda."

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