Poll: Abortion Issue Much More Important to Pro-Life Voters

National   Steven Ertelt   Aug 22, 2012   |   6:52PM    Washington, DC

With all of the sturm und drang over the Todd Akin comments, the media is trumpeting the issue of abortion in an attempt to attack pro-life advocates, the Romney campaign and Republicans.

But when it comes down to pulling the lever for a candidate, polling data consistently shows the abortion issue is more motivating and salient in terms of their vote to pro-life voters than it is to abortion advocates.

As the Pew Research Center notes today:

Far more opponents than supporters of legal abortion view this as a very important voting issue. Fully 73% of those who say that abortion should be illegal in all cases rate abortion as a very important voting issue; 55% of those who say abortion should be illegal in most cases also rate it as very important.

By contrast, just a third of those who favor legal abortion in all cases, and just 22% who say it should be legal in most cases, rate abortion as very important to their vote. About four-in-ten voters in each group (44% legal in all cases, 42% legal in most) say abortion will be not at all important in their decision about whom to vote for.

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Among opponents of legal abortion, large majorities of both women (64%) and men (59%) say the issue will be very important to their vote. But among supporters of legal abortion, more women than men say it will be very important (34% vs. 19%).