Fox News analyst Margaret Hoover appeared on the O’Reilly Factor and encouraged the Republican Party to drop its long-standing pro-life views for fear of losing potential connections with the next generation of voters. However, Hoover ignores polling data showing millenials hold the strongest pro-life views.
Hoover, the author of “American Individualism” and a Republican, argued that building bridges to voters under 30 is important for the GOP.
“We’re going to save the Republican Party by connecting to the next generation,” Hoover told host Bill O’Reilly. “The next generation is 30 and under. They voted two to one for Barack Obama and their partisan identification solidifies after three presidential election cycles. They voted for John Kerry. They voted for Barack Obama. If we don’t make inroads in the next 16 months, we’re going to lose the next generation.”
Hoover falsely claimed that a majority of Americans support abortion — even though Gallup polling data from earlier this year shows 61 percent of Americans want all or most all abortions made illegal.
“People like you who try to divide our party on social issues, that is not the way forward for the Republican Party,” Hoover said.
O’Reilly countered, saying, “The traditional core of the Republican party opposes you on almost every social issue.”
In the Gallup poll, by a 24 percent margin, 61-37 percent, Americans take the pro-life view that abortions should either be legal under no circumstances or legal only under a few circumstances. Although Gallup doesn’t specify those “few” circumstances, polling data has consistently shown that, when asked about cases such as rape, incest, or the life of the mother, a majority of Americans want all or almost all abortions made illegal — leaving only life of the mother or rape and incest as the exceptions.
“Americans are rather conservative in their stance on abortion, with 61% now preferring that abortion be legal in only a few circumstances or no circumstances. By contrast, 37% want abortion legal in all or most circumstances,” Gallup analyst Lydia Saad writes. “Over the past two decades, Americans have consistently leaned toward believing abortion should be legal in only a few or no circumstances, although less so in the mid-1990s than since about 1997, when combined support for these has averaged close to 60%.”
In fact, Gallup polling shows that, since 1994, a majority of Americans have held a pro-life view wanting all or almost all abortions made illegal — and that pro-life view has strengthened with an average of 60 percent of Americans saying that over the years.
The Gallup polling data also showed 60 percent of women and 61 percent of men saying they want all or almost all abortions illegal. Women actually take a stronger pro-life view than men with 24 percent of American women wanting all abortions made illegal and 36 percent wanting almost all illegal, compared with 19 percent of men who want to ban all abortions and 42 percent of men who want to prohibit almost all.
And, getting to Hoover’s concerns, 59 percent of people aged 18-34 say all or almost all abortions should become illegal. In fact, younger Americans are most supportive of making all abortions illegal, with 24 percent of 18-34 year-olds saying so and 35 percent saying they want abortions legal only in a few circumstances.
Republicans are considerably pro-life — with 79 percent of them saying they want all or almost all abortions prohibited, whereas 60 percent of independents take that position and 44 percent of Democrats agreeing.