by Steven Ertelt
May 22, 2007
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Down. That appears to be the only direction the Giuliani campaign is going after several weeks of misstatements and attempts to sell his pro-abortion position to the largely pro-life Republican Party. The hard-hitting criticism the former New York City mayor has endured has eroded his lead in national polls.
A new survey USA Today released today finds that just 29 percent of Republicans nationally would vote for Giuliani the 2008 GOP primary.
Conducted by Gallup, the poll shows the ex-mayor has lost six percentage points since the same time last month and five since earlier in May.
Virtually every other candidate has gained from Giuliani’s downward spiral as Arizona Sen. John McCain inched up 1 percent from last month to 23 percent, former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson climbed two to 12 percent, and Mitt Romney held steady at 8 percent.
The Gallup survey showed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich at 6 percent and Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback moving up one to two percent. Other candidates had just one percent or didn’t register any support in the poll.
This USA Today poll mirrors the results of a Rasmussen poll conducted last week that showed Giuliani leading among likely GOP voters with 25 percent, which was just seven percentage points ahead of Sen. John McCain’s 18 percent.
Three weeks ago he led McCain by 16 percent in the Rasmussen poll and the 25 percent was the lowest mark for Giuliani in any Rasmussen poll to date.
Surveys have also shown that Giuliani is losing his grip on the early primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
Republican voters have previously turned away pro-abortion candidates from capturing the primary nod, including former California Gov. Pete Wilson and Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter. Republicans haven’t had a pro-abortion nominee since Gerald Ford in 1976.
Polls have also shown that abortion is a winning issue for GOP presidential candidates.
Post-election polling after the 2004 presidential elections found that President Bush’s pro-life stance gave him an edge over pro-abortion Sen. John Kerry.
A 2004 Wirthlin Worldwide post-election poll found that 42 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of voters cast their ballots for President Bush while 15% voted for Kerry, giving Bush a 9 percent advantage on the issue of abortion.
Eight percent of voters in the Wirthlin poll indicated abortion was the "most important" issue affecting their votes and Bush won among those voters by a six to two percent margin, leading Kerry by four percentage points among the most intense abortion voters.