California Poll Shows Voters Still Pro-Abortion, Could Impact Senate Race

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jul 21, 2010   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

California Poll Shows Voters Still Pro-Abortion, Could Impact Senate Race

by Steven Ertelt Editor
July 21
, 2010

Sacramento, CA ( — California voters are overwhelmingly pro-abortion says a new Field Poll that could have an impact on the upcoming Senate race between pro-life Carly Fiorina and pro-abortion Sen. Barbara Boxer. According to the new survey, more than 70 percent of Californians support legalized abortion.

The Field Poll says that number has remained steady — with anywhere from 66 percent to 71 percent of Golden State voters saying they support abortion since it began polling on it in 1987.

"It’s established public opinion," Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said. "Even a majority of Republicans support a pro-choice position here in California."

The survey found 49 percent of California residents want no changes to the existing status of abortion, which is allowed for any reason throughout pregnancy — though they were not informed of this fact.

Another 22 percent want to make abortions easier to obtain, 24 percent want to make it harder to get an abortion and 5 percent have no opinion.

The poll was conducted for the Riverside Press-Enterprise newspaper and other California media outlets.

The newspaper says the poll could have a bearing on the Senate race and said Boxer campaign manager Rose Kapolczynski said today she thinks Fiorina is out of the mainstream.

"Carly Fiorina is so extreme that she would make abortion illegal and turn women and doctors into criminals," she said. "It’s just one more example of how out of touch Fiorina is with the vast majority of Californians."

But the newspaper indicates the poll is showing Fiorina is getting the support of a broad base of California residents, including 55 percent who either support current abortion laws or want to make abortions easier to obtain.

Fiorina spokeswoman Andrea Saul told the newspaper the Senate hopeful "understands that there are many Californians who don’t necessarily agree with her" but said abortion was one of many issues voters would consider this November.

Politics Daily conservative opinion columnist Matt Lewis focused on the California race and abortion in a column today.

"Recent polling suggests it’s a real possibility that California Sen. Barbara Boxer might lose to Carly Fiorina in November," he writes. "A Boxer loss in a "safe" Democratic state like California would be a major symbolic loss for Democrats. It also would have major policy implications for the liberal agenda, including the always-with-us, hot-button issue of abortion."

Ultimately, Lewis notes "while the economy remains the No. 1 issue in the campaign, the abortion debate cannot be overlooked as it pertains to this race."

His column includes quotes from players on both sides of the abortion debate, including this writer, who point out how a Boxer defeat would be a severe blow for the pro-abortion movement and a gain for pro-life advocates who want to show the public how advocating for women doesn’t necessarily mean promoting abortion.

Lewis says that, while Boxer has repeatedly referred to Fiorina’s pro-life views as "out of step" with Californians, "there is some evidence of awareness by Boxer’s campaign that Boxer may be too far to the left of even the California electorate."

He cites an exchange with San Francisco reporters — in which Boxer said, "to me, [the issue of abortion is] about whether or not a woman in an early stage of her pregnancy has the right to make her choice whether to have the child or not" — and says perhaps she is backing down from supporting abortions later in pregnancy.

"This implies Boxer only supports abortion during, perhaps, the first trimester of pregnancy," he said. "Could it be that Boxer is discovering that her position on abortion is also a bit ‘out of step?"


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