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The latest CBS News poll on Roe reversal as flawed as ever

by | May 22, 2019

By Dave Andrusko

Let’s say for the sake of argument, when pollsters ask about Roe v. Wade they are serious about finding out what the public is thinking about reversal (which is the question they most often ask). Not that they are, but let’s pretend they are.

So CBS News asked two questions about Roe and one about the respondent’s position on abortion (which we’ll get to momentarily, which actually was asked first).

First Roe question. “What should the U.S. Supreme Court do about Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that made abortion legal—keep it as it is or overturn it?”

Two thirds (67%) said keep it as is while 28% said overturn. There are more problems than you can shake a stick at.

For example, nothing in the question that tells people Roe essentially legalized abortion throughout pregnancy. So when someone is asked “keep it as is?,” and they say yes, they are unknowingly supporting an abortion-on-demand regime.

But I will give CBS News credit: at least they told the respondents that Roe was about abortion. In 2013, on the 40th anniversary of Roe, Pew conducted a fascinating survey in which they found that only 62% of the public knew that Roe dealt with abortion.

20% didn’t know what the case was about and 7% thought Roe was about school desegregation!

A related question that virtually never gets talked about is how satisfied people are with “the nation’s policies regarding the abortion issue.” Gallup found 23% were somewhat dissatisfied, 28% were very dissatisfied.

And, by the way, while most often the same percentage of people self-identify as pro-life and pro-choice (roughly 48%), many more people (including some pro-lifers) have so thoroughly swallowed the media narrative that they think the public self-identifies as pro-choice far more than is actually the case.

What about the second Roe question regarding responses to a Roe reversal? Here’s CBS News’ characterization:

Most who want the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade would be happy (35%) or satisfied (31%) if that were to happen. Among those who want Roe v. Wade kept as it is, a majority would be dissatisfied or angry if the ruling were to be overturned, including 44% who said they would be angry.

Does that make sense? That of those who want Roe overturned, only 2/3rds (35%+31% ) would be happy or satisfied if it was?

Then there is CBS News’ first question that I didn’t see any reporting on. It’s better than usual but not as good as Gallup’s.

Does the respondent want abortion “generally available” (44%); “available but under stricter limits than it is now” (34%); or “not permitted” (20%).

A majority—54– would not permit abortion (20%) or available “but under stricter limits” (34%).

What would the numbers be if the public understands that abortion is widely available; that Democrats want abortion throughout pregnancy; and/or that Democrats want the taxpayers to fund abortions?

What would be the impact if the abortion industry, the Democratic Party, and most of the media came clean about abortion?

Categories: Roe v. Wade