Poll: Independents Backing Pro-Life Republican Candidates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Oct 25, 2010   |   7:28PM   |   Washington, DC

A new poll for Politico conducted by George Washington University finds independents backing pro-life Republicans in what could become an election landslide next week.

The polling firm says “Republicans are on the verge of broad wins next week for one big reason: independent voters.” The voters are “expressing deep dissatisfaction with Obama’s policies and performance” and “ready to boot Democrats from office.”

Ed Goes and Celinda Lake, a Republican and Democratic pollsters respectively, conducted the nonpartisan poll that is already receiving significant attention today in political circles.

Republicans hold a 14-point edge among independents and lead 47-42 percent among all voters when it comes to them saying which party’s candidates they plan to support for the House and Senate next Tuesday. The GOP lead expands to 12 percent among those voters most likely to vote.

The poll also found movement towards the Republican direction.

The bipartisan survey showed a 43-43 split on the generic ballot around Labor Day and 29 percent of independent voters said they backed leaned towards Republican candidates. That rose to 38 percent in September and is now 44 percent.

The poll found independents are merging with Republican voters to provide momentum for what could be a landmark election for the pro-life community. With pro-abortion Democrats — allies of Barack Obama — controlling the House and Senate, a change in party control in either chamber, or both, could make for a shift in policy on abortion, embryonic stem cell research and abstinence education.

The new poll finds 62 percent of independents hold an unfavorable view of the ObamaCare law that allows abortion funding in the health care plan.

In his comments about the survey, Goes said Republican candidates are “poised to make historic gains this November.”

“The electorate is highly dissatisfied with the direction of the country, clearly driven by their frustration with the policies that President Obama and the Congressional Democrats have pursued over the last two years. In addition, Congressional Republicans are in a strong position to be a powerful force in beginning to reverse that direction over the next two years,” he added.

Goes points to the 10 percent advantage GOP voters have over Democrats in terms of their excitement about voting (73-63) percent as another reason for pro-life advocates to look forward to Election Day.

“This intensity advantage, coupled with GOP leads among other key demographics, provides Republicans with a twelve-point advantage (52%-40%) on the generic ballot with the “likely voter turnout model,” he said. “The results of both these measurements are far greater than what was seen in the 1994 election.”

Goes also says Republican candidates are aided by the fact that majorities of Republicans (88%) and Independents (53%) have an unfavorable view of Obama and 62 percent of independents hold an unfavorable view of pro-abortion Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Conservative blogger Ed Morrissey of Hot Air responded to the polling results in a blog post.

“The numbers look daunting for Democrats with just one week to go before Election Day, and in many places, past the time many have already voted,” he said. “The idea that Democrats have staged some sort of comeback has no basis, and right now the best they can do is to hope most people voted early before their position eroded even further.”

Morrissey says the poll also finds bad news for abortion advocates in the next presidential election.

“Not surprisingly, this translates into Obama’s re-elect numbers.  Only 30% will definitely vote for Obama in 2012, while 35% have already decided to vote against him,” he notes. “In ‘probables,’ the re-elect split goes to 40/46, and with leaners 42/48. ”

The survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted Oct. 17-20. It had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.