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Pro-Life Stance Boosts GOP at the Polls
Newsmax ^ | 1/6/2002 | John Rossiello

Posted on 01/06/2003 8:50:17 PM PST by Milltownmalbay

It might have been homeland security. Or maybe even the economy. At least that's what the political experts say, when it comes to explaining the Republican Party's success in November's election. But there may be more than meets the eye behind the outcome of 2002 midterm elections. Undoubtedly, with many Senate races being decided by less than 10,000 votes, both the economy and security concerns were politically potent issues. But according to Jennifer G. Hickey of Insight Magazine, most analysts have overlooked the impact of the abortion issue in several key races. In fact, she contends, polling data indicates that abortion was the major factor in shifting control of the Senate from the Democrats to the Republicans this November.

Pollster John Zogby, who carried out a post election telephone survey for the National Right to Life Committee (NRLC), told Insight, "Basically, you had a number of close races, so anything that moved a few thousand voters moved mountains. On the abortion issue it looked like the intensity was on the life side and clearly that was what our polling data indicated."

Zogby's survey was conducted in just nine states: Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Dakota, and Texas.

Cumulatively, 41 percent of voters stated that that candidate's position on abortion affected their vote. Of that group, 55 percent backed the pro-life candidate, compared to 39 percent backing pro-choice candidates.

In Missouri, for example, the candidates' position on abortion was the most important issue for 17 percent of the voters, which came in second only to the economy with 21 percent. Of the voters who listed abortion as the deciding factor, Republican Senate challenger Jim Talent outpolled incumbent Democratic Sen. Jean Carnahan by a 4-to-1 margin.

Kate Michelman, president of the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), expressed deep disappoinment with the low number of pro-choice voters in November. However, she attributed it to overriding security issues and a general lack of awareness.

This data could be critical even before the next election, since the new Congress now faces several issues sparked by the abortion debate. The NRLC expects to be some action to be taken on several bills that had been passed by the 107th congress.

Topping the list is the Partial Birth Abortion Act that was passed by the House of Representatives on July 24 by a 274-151 vote. Compatible legislation has passed both the House and Senate in previous sessions, but were vetoed twice by former president Bill Clinton.

In addition, there are four other bills up for consideration:

1. Legislation to ban human cloning.

2. The Unborn Victims of Violence act, that recognizes that as a legal victim any unborn child who is injured or killed.

3.The Child Custody Protection Act, which criminalizes the action of taking a minor across state lines for an abortion.

4. The Abortion Non-Discrimination Act, which prohibits state and local governments from discriminating against hospitals and other health care providers for refusing to participate in abortions.

A pro-life stance not only helped boost the GOP candidates in critical Senate races, but the election results may signal a trend that has Democrats worried. A Zogby International poll commissioned for the Buffalo News in December found that 32 percent of Americans changed their opinions on abortion during the last decade, with 21 percent - nearly two-thirds - becoming more pro-life.

Interestingly, the biggest shift towards the pro-life position was among those 18 - 20 years old.

If nothing else, the 2002 election showed that the abortion issue has turned into a significant political liability for pro-choice candidates running in certain parts of the country.

John Rossiello attends St. Joseph by-the-Sea High School in Staten Island, New York.

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Extended News; Front Page News; Government; Miscellaneous; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: Arkansas; US: Colorado; US: Georgia; US: Minnesota; US: Missouri; US: South Dakota; US: Texas
KEYWORDS: abortion; election2002; pollingdata; prolife; senate; zogby

1 posted on 01/06/2003 8:50:17 PM PST by Milltownmalbay
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To: Milltownmalbay
If nothing else, the 2002 election showed that the abortion issue has turned into a significant political liability for pro-choice candidates running in certain parts of the country.

That's music to my ears.....

2 posted on 01/06/2003 9:01:58 PM PST by Go Gordon
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To: Polycarp
Culture of Life ping
3 posted on 01/06/2003 9:06:10 PM PST by Angelus Errare
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To: Milltownmalbay
The nine states overall are skewed to the pro life position, particularly if weighted for population. The poll is worthless. Even pro choice New Hampshire is only marginally so. Still, I think the pro lifers have a slight edge overall in voters who really swing their votes on this issue. But that advantage is a marginal one. The GOP pays a heavy price in upscale suburbs.
4 posted on 01/06/2003 9:32:15 PM PST by Torie
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To: Go Gordon
Amen to that!
5 posted on 01/06/2003 9:35:39 PM PST by For the Unborn
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To: Milltownmalbay
I don't understand the reason for trying to pass the "The Child Custody Protection Act." It sounds like an act that will not reduce the abortion rate much, and could be a tremendous public relations disaster for the pro-life side.
I mean, let's say you have a pregnant 17 year-old in Bristol, Tennessee. Say this girl is three weeks into her pregnancy and an emotional basket case. She just emotionally can't handle pregnancy or life in general, and is smoking and drinking up a storm. She decides that she'll abort the baby, and it's okay with her parents, who figures the baby probably won't survive nine months of abuse anyway. Her older brother who is 19 agrees to drive her up the road to the clinic, which is just up the road and happens to be in Bristol, Virginia. (Full disclosure: I just picked a border city at random here.)

You wan't to make what her older brother did a federal crime? And even if you did, most of the country wouldn't agree with you. The pro-choice side would get a huge victory in publicity.

I would suggest the pro-life groups forget about this bill, and try to get all the other passed. A ban on "partial-birth" abortions would be a significant victory. It probably wouldn't save that many lives, but it would generate a lot of publicity about the repugnant nature of late-term abortions.
6 posted on 01/06/2003 9:50:26 PM PST by Our man in washington
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Comment #7 Removed by Moderator

To: Our man in washington
Clarification: when I used "you" in my last post, I wasn't referring to Miltownmalbay, but to all activists on the pro-life side. I was replying to the article, not the poster. Miltownmalbay, thanks for posting the article.
8 posted on 01/06/2003 9:53:13 PM PST by Our man in washington
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To: William Creel
I am talking about presidential elections. In state elections, all kinds of noise is generated. Thus we have Santorum and Specter in one state. In non federal office elections, even more noise is generated, particularly since states can't do much about abortion at present, and thus it devolves into a symbolic issue.
9 posted on 01/06/2003 9:56:04 PM PST by Torie
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To: Our man in washington
Say this girl is three weeks into her pregnancy and an emotional basket case. Two things of note regarding your hypothetical: 1) at three weeks, the 'girl' wouldn't have a clue that she was pregnant; 2) by the three weeks you mention, for the new individual human life in her womb, the alive individual at his/her normal life cycle stage has a beating heart that is developing chambers already, so anything to discourage slaughtering that new individual life outweighs the 'possible' publicity manipulation the pro-serial killing crowd might raise. Protecting the innocent and giving the girl a chance to choose life instead of killing are the central issues.

Full disclosure: I live within 19 miles of Bristol. If the parents approved the drive to the Virginia side (or from VA side to TN side) and the brother drives her there, it is highly unlikely that the issue you have created would even exist, especially for a three week gestational age pregnancy. Such creation of specious hypotheticals does nothing to forward a reasoned debate on the real issues that will arise over such bills as this wise young man has written about.

11 posted on 01/06/2003 10:05:36 PM PST by MHGinTN
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To: Milltownmalbay
SNOW: Will the Senate pass a ban on partial-birth abortion?

SANTORUM: Absolutely. That's one of the things that we could not get scheduled under Senator Daschle last session of Congress. It will be scheduled relatively promptly this session of Congress, as well as other important things that didn't see the light of day, like cloning.

BAN PB ABORTION,3566,74638,00.html

12 posted on 01/06/2003 10:14:29 PM PST by TLBSHOW
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To: William Creel
Statement On AMA Endorsement Of Partial Birth Abortion Ban

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- As the only physician in the Senate, I am proud of the American Medical Association’s decision to support the ban on partial birth abortions. This is the strongest medical confirmation yet that this so-called medical procedure is brutal, inhumane, and medically unnecessary. As I said on the floor of the United States Senate, any provider who performs a partial birth abortion has violated the Hippocratic principle, “First do no harm.”

The President (CLINTON) has already been standing on shaky ground in his efforts to explain his intent to veto once again a ban of this grisly and unnecessary procedure. With these technical changes and the endorsement of the AMA, it’s time for the President (CLINTON) to do the right thing -- it’s time for him to sign this bill.

Senate ML Bill Frist MD

13 posted on 01/06/2003 10:15:34 PM PST by TLBSHOW
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To: Milltownmalbay
Posted here too but a great thread never the less about banning Abortion! Which President Bush said he would do if it gets to his deak. Banning of PB ABortion is a great prelude to banning abortion. The hex on America!
14 posted on 01/06/2003 10:18:41 PM PST by TLBSHOW
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To: Torie
The GOP pays a heavy price in upscale suburbs.

That's because they haven't figured out how to play their cards right.

The fact is that the vast majority of the population favor tighter restrictions on abortion than exist now, but a largely-overlapping vast majority do not, today, favor restrictions as tight as what the most pro-life groups seek. Many of the people in the overlapping segment are, for example, strongly opposed to abortion restrictions on rape and incest victims, but favor restrictions on late-term and "partial-birth" abortions.

If the Republicans were smart, they would work to grab the votes of this very large segment of the population which is currently being courted, quite successfully, by the Democrats. Push hard for the restrictions that the vast majority of people want, while holding off on those that people don't yet want, and move forward from there.

Does anyone see any problem whatsoever with my strategy? Any idea why Republicans can't figure it out?

15 posted on 01/06/2003 11:23:28 PM PST by supercat
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To: William Creel
Candidates who are socialy liberal to moderate tend to be liberal to moderate on fiscal issues.

True enough. Spectre, for example, has dubbed himself a "fiscal conservative" and a "social libertarian" countless times.

The truth, of course, is that he and the predictable Northeastern rogues are almost always the first to bail on us in close votes when the issue is tax cuts or size-of-government!

You're not going to convince me that it's perilous to be for tax cuts in New England, one of the heaviest taxed regions on the state level.

16 posted on 01/07/2003 5:48:56 AM PST by winin2000
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We're on the same side here. I want to reduce the numbers of abortion in this country too. It's just that I think we have to pick and choose our battles.

Would banning people from crossing state lines stop a few abortions? Yes. Would the inevitable "hard cases" create negative publicity for the pro-life side and thus prevent victories elsewhere? Yes.

Realistically, the only way to significantly reduce the number of abortions in this country would be to convince people that having abortions is a bad thing. If you pass a law that half the country opposes and a minority strongly opposes, all you have is an ineffective law.
17 posted on 01/07/2003 7:39:54 AM PST by Our man in washington
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