New Voters Pro-Life, But Back John Kerry Over President Bush

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 20, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

New Voters Pro-Life, But Back John Kerry Over President Bush Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 20, 2004

Washington, DC ( — A new public opinion survey reveals that a majority of first time voters are pro-life. However, they are backing pro-abortion Democratic nominee John Kerry over the re-election of President Bush.

The poll, sponsored by Pace University and Rock the Vote monitors the views of first time presidential voters, those who registered to vote after the 2000 presidential elections.

The voters were ask to place themselves in one of four categories on abortion, two backing abortion and two pro-life. Some 54 percent of newly registered voters take a pro-life position while only 44 percent declared themselves abortion backers.

Backing abortion, 21 percent said "abortions should be legal and generally available," and 23 percent agreed that "regulation of abortion is necessary, although it should remain legal in many circumstances."

Meanwhile, taking a pro-life position, 41 percent said "abortion should be legal only in the most extreme cases, such as to save the life of the mother, incest, or rape" while 13 percent said "all abortions should be made illegal."

However, new voters favored Kerry over Bush by a 50 to 40 percent margin. Surprisingly, more Kerry voters (34 percent) said they favored limiting abortion to very rare cases than said they want abortions generally available (31 percent).

Yet, if Ralph Nader is thrown into the mix, Bush leads Kerry among new voters by a 44 to 42 percent margin while Nader captures 6 percent.

The Pace poll also found that the pro-life view among new voters is also seen in various demographic breakdowns.

Some 61 percent of Hispanic voters took one of the two pro-life positions while only 34 percent chose a pro-abortion one. Black voters favored the pro-life perspective by a 59 to 42 percent margin.

Even self-described "moderate" voters favored a pro-life position over abortion by a 52 to 45 percent margin.

The Pace Poll was fielded nationwide and by telephone among 662 new registrants since 2000. It has a +- 4% margin of error.