Thursday, March 23, 2006

Abortion Rights? It's A Bad Political Strategy Says Zogby Poll

Federal candidates who make abortion rights an important part of their election platform this year and in 2008 may find themselves swimming against the current of American political thinking, a new Zogby Interactive survey shows.

The survey, commissioned by Associated Television News and The O'Leary Report, included 30,117 respondents in the 48 contiguous states, and was conducted from March 10-14, 2006. It carries a margin of error of +/- 0.6 percentage points...

Associated Television News President Brad O'Leary, who commissioned the poll, added that much of the results may "spell disaster for Democrats who try to run on the abortion issue. The abortion issue is this year's political 'third rail' for congressional Democrats and for Hillary Clinton in 2008," said O'Leary. O'Leary speculated that the recent confirmation hearings for Justices Alito and Roberts and may have galvanized undecided voters into the pro-life camp, and noted that 71% of voters disagreed that the Senate should confirm only pro-choice Supreme Court Justices, while just 17% agreed with the statement...

The poll results suggest a shift in the electorate away from abortion rights over the past decade, Mr. O'Leary said. They also suggest that congressional Democrats who champion abortion rights could lose as much as 20 percent support from the electorate.

The issue may affect the 2008 presidential contest, the poll shows, as 60% to 80% percent of Hillary Clinton's support on most of the 20 abortion questions clearly comes from those voters who favor abortion rights. Conversely, 75% to 90% percent of those voters who support John McCain take a pro-life position on the questions.