by Steven Ertelt
March 5, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Rudy Giuliani continues to enjoy a wide lead over his rivals for the Republican nomination for president in part because a large majority of GOP voters still don’t know the former New York City mayor favors legalized abortion.
A new poll from Newsweek released on Saturday finds Giuliani getting the support of a strong majority of Republicans in hypothetical head to head matchups against both Arizona Sen. John McCain and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
However, Giuliani has such a strong stand in the polls in part because most Republicans don’t know he strongly favors abortion — an issue he won’t find much support on from a Republican electorate that’s mostly pro-life.
Newsweek asked GOP respondents if they knew were Giuliani stood on the contentious issue.
Only 34 percent of all Republicans and 38 percent of those who say they are social conservatives knew Giuliani is pro-abortion.
However, 51 percent of Republicans and 49 percent of social conservatives don’t know where the former mayor stands on abortion. Another 12 percent of GOPers and 11 percent of social conservatives wrongly said Giuliani takes a pro-life view opposing abortions.
That means two-thirds of Republicans voters don’t know that Rudy Giuliani is a pro-abortion candidate for president.
Once they find out, the polling data should shift substantially and Giuliani will likely find himself losing quite a bit of support to candidates who come closer to the beliefs of the pro-life community.
That’s because the poll showed 40 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of self-described social conservatives say Giuliani’s pro-abortion position would prevent them from voting for him or make it less likely they would do so.
Only 20 percent would be more likely to vote for him as a result of his pro-abortion views.
The Newsweek survey tracks along the same lines as a mid-February Fox News poll.
That survey found that only 42 percent of GOP voters correctly identified Giuliani as pro-abortion. Some 21 percent wrongly said he’s pro-life and another 36 percent didn’t know where he stands.
The Fox News poll showed 46 percent of GOP voters are less likely to support a pro-abortion candidate — with 36% a lot less likely and 10 percent somewhat less likely. Only 22 percent were more likely to support an abortion advocate.
No pro-abortion Republican has been nominated for president since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Newsweek surveyed 1,202 adults on Wednesday and Thursday of last week and poll included 283 registered Republicans, 342 registered Democrats and 349 independents. It has a three percent margin of error.