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Finding Pro-Life Nuggets When you Dig inside New CNN Poll

by | Sep 16, 2011

By Dave Andrusko

CNN’s telephone survey of 1,038 adults conducted last week and released yesterday provides interesting insights into the public’s abortion opinion. As always, you have to begin by looking beneath the misleading initial totals which hide the truth that when more nuanced questions are asked, the public overwhelmingly opposes the reasons almost all abortions are performed.

For example, when the public is given a tri-part set of options you get 25% saying abortion should be legal under any circumstances; 21% saying abortion should be illegal in all circumstances; and 53% saying legal under certain circumstances. Pro-abortionists twist this to mean that there is 78% “pro-choice” majority (25% + 53%)

But when the 53% who said “legal under certain circumstances” are asked a more specific question (“legal under most circumstances or only a few circumstance?”), you come to a completely different conclusion. The poll shows that 41% want abortion legal in only a few circumstances to only 12% who want abortion legal under most circumstances.

So the proper conclusion—no spin either way—is that a total of 62% take the pro-life position: abortion illegal under all circumstances (21%) or legal in only a few circumstances (41%). A total of only 37% take the pro-abortion position: 25% legal in all circumstances; 12% legal in most circumstances

The CNN poll breaks out the responses along a number of lines. To cite just a few

·         Men were slightly more pro-life than women 64% to 59%, which is not typically the case

·         Only one category, those over 65, was more pro-life than young people ages 18-34 (63%).

·         By region the South gave the most pro-life responses (67%), followed by the Midwest (63%). 77% of those described as “rural” took the pro-life position.

One other fascinating nugget. A whopping 80% of Tea Party supporters took the pro-life position–45% legal in only a few circumstances, 35% illegal in all.

For comparison purposes, there is a poll taken by Gallup back in May which we reported on at;; and The results are uncannily similar.

A total of 61% of respondents said abortion should either be legal in only a few circumstances (39%) or illegal in all circumstances (22%). That compares with a total of 37% who said either that abortion should be legal in all circumstances (27%), or under most circumstances (10%).

As you would expect, self-identified Republicans were much more pro-life and self-identified Democrats were more pro-abortion.

But the key group—the segment of the population that everyone is after—are Independents. According to Gallup, 60% of Independents say abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances (42%) or illegal in all (18%).

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Categories: Polling