by Steven Ertelt
September 7, 2004
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A new poll conducted by the Pew Forum reveals that, among Catholic voters, supporters of President George W. Bush are more motivated by the abortion issue than backers of Senator John Kerry.
According to the Pew poll, 49 percent of Catholic Bush supporters cite abortion as a "very important" priority while 40 percent of Catholic Kerry supporters say abortion was an important issue.
That leads some observers to believe that, as in past presidential elections, the pro-life candidate will gain an advantage on the abortion issue.
Of Catholics who support Bush, Catholics who attend church most frequently and Hispanic Catholics are more likely than nominal Catholics to say that abortion is a very important issue under consideration when making a choice for president.
According to the Pew poll, released last week, abortion was the most-mentioned priority among Hispanic Catholics favoring Bush, topping all other issues.
Meanwhile, among Catholics backing Bush who attend church on a weekly basis, abortion was named a top priority by 70 percent.
Among a subgroup of Kerry supporters, only 27 percent of weekly churchgoers named abortion as a priority. Hispanic Catholics who support Kerry named the economy most often as the most important issue.
A Gallup Poll Special Report entitled "Public Opinion About Abortion — An In-Depth Review," published after the last presidential election, said "the abortion issue has been an advantage for Republican candidates" for all six presidential elections from 1984 to 2000 because of the nominee’s pro-life position.
According to Gallup, of the 14% of voters who said abortion was one of the most important issues in deciding their vote in the 2000 presidential election, 58% supported Bush, while only 41% voted for pro-abortion candidate Al Gore.
The entire Pew poll queried 1,512 adults by phone between Aug. 5 and 10 and has a 3 percent margin of error.