Gallup Poll Shows Advantage for John McCain Over Barack Obama on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Nov 3, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Gallup Poll Shows Advantage for John McCain Over Barack Obama on Abortion

by Steven Ertelt Editor
November 3
, 2008

Washington, DC ( — A new Gallup poll finds the issue of abortion gives Senator John McCain a 5-1 advantage over his pro-abortion rival Barack Obama. The survey results are consistent with exit polls and surveys from the 2004 race showing President Bush with an abortion advantage over John Kerry.

The new Gallup survey asked respondents to tell the pollster in their own words why they were supporting McCain or Obama, without ticking off a list of issues.

Three percent of all voters named abortion as the reason for their vote. While five percent of McCain voters specifically said abortion is the issue that is motivating them to support McCain just one percent of Obama backers said abortion is the reason for supporting him.

Gallup noted the abortion advantage for McCain calling it "a significant draw to his candidacy."

When voters mentioned issues in a more general sense, the advantage went to McCain as well.

Some 17 percent of voters said agreeing with their position on the issues prompted the support for one candidate over another and 18 percent said that about McCain while 17 percent said that of Obama.

Four percent said that conservative values prompted their choice with 8 percent backing McCain and 1 percent backing Obama.

The results should come as no surprise to political observers as the fact that a majority of Americans are pro-life on abortion and pro-life voters more strongly support their candidate than do pro-abortion voters has played out in previous elections.

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 39 percent of voters said abortion affected the way they voted for president. Twenty-four percent of those 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.

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