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May 15, 2009

Gallup: Narrow Majority of Americans Now Call Themselves "Pro-Life;" Highest Level of Support for Pro-Life Position in 15 Years

For reasons we can only guess at, this has changed from a +6 edge for the pro-choice position last year to a +9 edge for pro-life, a 15 point swing. Gallup's latest poll shows it 51-42.

I get annoyed at the various "moderates" who demand an abandonment of the pro-life platform, claiming the position is unpopular and loses votes.

It's not. The factual predicate here is simply wrong, and will continue being wrong no matter how many times they say it. Even when the pro-life position is less popular, it's only a loser in the 55-45 sort of range. Certainly there are pro-choice women who might vote for Republicans but for the pro-life platform, but there are also lots of people who only vote Republicans because of that platform. If there is proof the pro-life position loses more likely voters than it gains, I haven't seen it.

It is possible that the pro-life position is a draw in states we're already going to win anyway -- thus making that position superfluous in terms of gaining a victory -- and is a vote-loser in crucial swing states we could win but often don't. Again, that's possible, but I haven't seen the numbers crunched.

Until I do, I think the moderates' argument is mostly about making the party into what they personally favor, and not making it into a winning party necessarily.

I don't begrudge anyone arguing for a party more in line with their personal preferences, but I have to call shenanigans on the endless unsubstantiated claims that if the GOP would only abandon social conservatives, we'd start winning.

A personal preference should be stated as such, and not dishonestly sold as an objectively-superior electoral position.

Seriously... I don't begrudge anyone trying to change the party -- that's everyone's right. (Well, it's the right of everyone actually in the party, or at least inclining towards the party.)

But this drumbeat from, well, people like David Frum who offer the pretense that they're not merely offering policy prescriptions which will help earn their personal vote and personal support, but a governing majority's vote and support... it's just not honest. Or, rather: It's just not correct.

I know a lot of moderates believe this, honestly. I was just speaking to a gung-ho Republican who nevertheless was confident the GOP had to spurn the social conservatives, and we'd start winning elections. There just isn't any solid evidence for this. The pro-life position seems to alternate between being mildly unpopular and (barely) popular.

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posted by Ace at 01:53 PM

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