I was wondering how long it would take, following the victory of pro-life President-elect Donald Trump, for some pollster to tell us (as the Quinnipiac University Poll does today), “Despite Donald Trump’s victory, American voters are at odds with the president-elect on several key issues, agreeing with the U.S. Supreme Court Roe v. Wade decision 67 – 30 percent…”
And for good measure, Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, adds, “Voters to Trump: No way on reversing Roe v Wade…”
Really? Of course not. So what did the survey really tell us?
#1. For the record, the survey did not ask whether Roe v. Wade should be overturned. In his eagerness, that is Malloy’s extrapolation from the responses to the two abortion questions, particularly the first which asked, “In general, do you agree or disagree with the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that established a woman’s right to an abortion?”
Of course the respondent is not told that the decision (along with its companion case Doe v. Bolton) essentially “established a woman’s right to an abortion” throughout all nine month. That includes killing fully mature, perfectly healthy babies if a woman so desires.
You wouldn’t get 67% agreeing to that.
#2. Quinnipiac gets a total of 64% saying abortion ”should be legal in all cases” (26%) or “legal in most cases” (38%). Ten percent say abortion should be “illegal in all cases,” while 22% say “illegal in most cases.”
But as Quinnipiac knows perfectly well, this is a grossly inadequate way of probing what people really think.
Gallup does it the right way, parsing out necessary distinctions. It first asks
|Legal under any circumstances|
|Legal only under certain circumstances|
|Illegal in all circumstances|
But Gallup asks a follow up question of those who say abortion should be legal “under certain circumstances.” They are asked whether they believe abortion should be legal “in most circumstances or in only a few circumstances?” Generally speaking, there are three times as many who say legal “in only a few circumstances” as legal in “most circumstances.”
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Which means that in a Gallup poll typically there will be a total of 55% who said abortion should be illegal in all circumstances (19%) or only a few circumstances (36%).
Just another hit job on President-elect Trump.
LifeNews.com Note: Dave Andrusko is the editor of National Right to Life News and an author and editor of several books on abortion topics. This post originally appeared in at National Right to Life News Today —- an online column on pro-life issues.