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September 3rd, 2008
11:42 AM ET

Pro-Life Republicans and Pro-Choice Voters

Amy Holmes | Bio
CNN Political Analyst

Much has been made of whether or not a staunch pro-life candidate can attract the pro-choice vote. And how could Joe Lieberman throw in his liberal lot with, gasp, social conservatives? Wonder no more. In 2004, Bush won 25% of voters who believe abortion should always be legal and 38% of those who believe it should mostly be legal. While Bush didn't draw a majority of pro-choicers to the Republican ticket, he certainly earned a healthy chunk. Bush also won 23% of the gay and lesbian vote (roughly the same percentage he received in 2000.)

Kerry, the pro-choice candidate, won 22% of those who believe abortion should always be illegal and 26% of those who believe that it should be mostly illegal. (see poll)

In other words, Bush actually did better at attracting voters who do not share his views on abortion than did Kerry. It could be that Kerry simply didn't articulate his position well. In one of the debates, he stumbled through his answer to a young woman as to how he reconciles his pro-choice position with his Catholic faith. For some inexplicable he didn't repeat the formulation that had been so successful for Clinton: that he believed abortion should be safe, legal and rare. But that was Kerry for you.

Every four years, the media and liberal Democrats promote the misconception that choice vs. life neatly divides voters into two camps, Democrats vs. Republicans. But as Joe Lieberman told voters tonight, do not be fooled. The truth is that past election statistics say differently, because voters themselves say differently in the privacy of their polling booths.


Filed under: Amy Holmes • Raw Politics
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Eric ,Miami

    From the 2000 and 2004 elections the republicans have run on wedge issues that divide the country. Gay marriage,right to choose, higher taxes, and illegal immigration to name a few. With a majority in both houses they solved nothing. They skip the decades of Republican Presidents back to Reagan because they have done nothing for the Middle Class. They do not mention the bills passed like the Medicare, Bankruptcy, or Energy bills which shifted money from families and services to corporations. And now they rap themselves in the flag and coin slogans like country first, as to insinuate that the other party does not. Is this the same party that ripped apart two war hero's (McCain and Kerry) and now hide behind war veterans like they care. Good jobs are leaving our cities, kids are being left behind and our property values are plummeting while taxes rising. I have seen the past eight years and refuse to repeat them.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  2. Ryan Field

    Guess what? This is what this entire election is based upon...people voting for everything other than the issues.

    I'd be curious to know how many blacks are voting on the issues at hand, rather than race and color. I know I'm voting for Obama because of issues like pro-choice, civil rights for gays, and healthcare. But all I read and see are comments about black vs. white. I know for a fact that most black churches will be the first to come out against gay marriage and basic civil rights for gays based on fictional bible quotes, but yet they are voting for a man who supports this issue. Yes, folks, most liberal left wing Democrats are either agnostic or athiest, and we don't believe there's an ounce of truth to the bible. We quietly laugh at these churches, and yet they are all supporting our Candidate this time.

    I guess all I can say is thank you...thanks for voting only based on color and race rather than on issues that will effect you and your churches in the future.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:41 pm |
  3. KJ Western, MA

    I think you bring up a very good point. As an Indpendent voter, I vote the person and not the ticket. I personally do not believe in abortion but I do believe in gay marriage- so I am somewhere in the middle.

    The person I believe is best for the job is the person I will vote for.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:38 pm |
  4. Grant

    Sarah Palin position on abortion is sure to turn moderates to strongly pull towards Obama on the issue.Preventing abortion even for incest or rape? That extreme in the issue needs to be in a history book, not a presidential platform. America is afraid of extremes and that all is Palin. Extreme Republican. Her lies, half-truths, and all.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm |
  5. nate

    Hi Amy,

    As always, I thoroughly enjoy your comments at CNN. If I recall correctly, G.W. Bush was able to obtain a significant number of pro-choice voters because these individuals have other issues that resonated with our President. I believe the public at large believes that no bill from the in the House or Senate that aimes towards overturning Roe v Wade will ever be signed by a Democrat or Republican President. Most Americans feel that this decision lies solely with the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court chooses, it can overturn itself with respect to Roe v Wade. Pro-choice voters will vote for John McCain because like Pres. Bush, John McCain has many important credentials and policies that will resonate with pro-choice voters.

    September 3, 2008 at 12:22 pm |
  6. Melissa, Los Angeles

    I can say I would never vote for McSame now that Palin's in the picture. Her stance against abortion in cases of rape or incest is just not right. How can she force a woman or in some instances a girl to have a child that is a product of rape?

    September 3, 2008 at 12:13 pm |
  7. Gary Chandler in Canada

    McCain and Palin should DEBATE..>>>
    divided on abortion in rape and incest cases
    divided on stem cell
    divided on birth control for teens and women over 40
    divided on sex education
    McCain has voted to fund pro choice groups

    September 3, 2008 at 11:52 am |
  8. Cindy

    Amy,
    I totally agree with you. You can't lump people in groups and expect that just because they believe one certain thing means that they will never vote for anyone that doesn't entirely go with that belief.

    The truth is sometimes people can and will put aside that one difference when they see in a candidate many other things that they think will help them and the country. You aren't obligated to cast your vote on one issue only. If you do then you are doing yourself a dishonor.

    Cindy...Ga.

    September 3, 2008 at 11:50 am |