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Saturday, October 1, 2016

According to a recent United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll, a plurality of Americans supports a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, as mandated in bills that were recently debated in the U.S. House of Representatives and the Texas State Legislature.

The poll finds that Americans narrowly favor such bans by a 48 to 44 percent margin. There is a clear partisan split in the results; 59 percent of Republicans support 20-week bans, while just 34 percent oppose them. By contrast, 33 percent of Democrats support such measures, and 59 percent oppose them.

In a potential warning sign for Democrats, women and young voters — key members of the party’s coalition — tend to favor restrictive bans. A majority 52 percent of those aged 18-29 — more than any other age group — support banning abortions after 20 weeks, with 39 percent opposed. Women favor a 20-week ban by a 50 to 44 percent margin.

National Journal poll

The results underscore what an uphill battle women’s health advocates face in their fight against extreme anti-abortion bills. Although 20-week bans without medical exceptions pose a huge health risk to women, and are flagrantly unconstitutional in light of Roe v. Wade, it’s clear that at this juncture anti-choice advocates are winning the messaging war on the issue.

Still, Republicans are seemingly in constant danger of squandering their narrow advantage on the topic. Every time a Phil Gingrey or Trent Franks opens his mouth, it just increases the odds that voters will ultimately turn away from the Republican Party and its increasingly extreme rhetoric.

  • Kittens&Politics

    How about personal freedom? What percentage of Americans supports a woman’s right to make decisions about her body, her family, her finances, her job, and her life?…

    • Russell Byrd

      Exactly. Polls are extremely valuable tools, but can be the questions can lead to a false conclusion and the failing to understand what the answers really mean can seriously mislead.

      For one I am not for abortions at 20 weeks or otherwise. What I am for is the right of a woman to make her own choices. Not only does any person have that right, but as a man, and one that has nothing to do with the woman situation, I DO NOT have a right to interfere.

      This is the way I see things. Am I pro-Choice: YES. I am pro-abortion: That is a question that only a right-winger would be stupid enough to ask.

      • RobertCHastings

        Well, I don’t know the organization that conducted the poll, but the sampling seems rather small, and the margin of error is quite large. Pew or Quinnipiac would be much more acceptable as a source, I believe. You are absolutely right about “misinformation”.

    • RobertCHastings

      Well, we know one demographic that DOESN’T. I wonder who that is. Could it be angry old white men? Is that a legitimate demographic? How about stupid ass older white men in public office who vote as Republicans? Thank God they are becoming a distinct minority.

    • bhaggen

      You’re saying a woman can’t figure that out in 5 months? By then the baby is no longer just a blob of cells, but is reactive to his parents voices, music, light, and pain. Why not just beat it to death when it’s born?

  • thejman7

    United Technologies/National Journal poll? Really? C’mon National Memo – I expect MUCH BETTER from you guys. Let’s not forget that National Journal also said the day before the election that Obama and Romney were in a dead heat and that it was anybody’s race. And we all remember the end result – a landslide loss for Romney.

    • Dominick Vila

      I agree. I think the methods being used by some pollsters are antiquated and ignore changes such as the increasing use of cell phones, the fact that many poor Americans don’t own a phone but vote, and the dramatic impetus that the nomination of an ethnic minority or a woman have among large segments of our population.
      I vote, and I had never seen the large numbers of African Americans that were at my polling place last November in previous elections. Pollsters must include other factors in their processes or they will soon lose all credibility and become a joke.

    • RobertCHastings

      Thanks for clarifying that. It is easy to see that their sampling was too small and their margin of error rather large to have accurately reached the conclusions the did.

    • RobertCHastings

      Their article is based upon Princeton Research International Associates. While they claim to be affiliated with Princeton University, I question it, simply because the article cited as the source for the chart was written by an individual who is NOT impartial. Makes me even more surprised at The National Memo.

    • angelsinca

      “And we all remember the end result – a landslide loss for Romney”

      Not really. The 51/47 Obama/Romney split in popular vote wasn’t a landlside loss unless you call the 51/48 split of Bush/Kerry one also. Where the 2008 53/46 Obama/McCain race was a stronger win for the Dems than the second Obama race, the second Reagan race against Mondale at 58/40 was a thorough smack down for Repubs.

  • Independent1

    I guess I would like to see how the questions were posed in the poll. I find it hard to believe that a plurality of Americans would support a ban on abortions after 20 weeks that includes no caveats, e.g., includes no exception if carrying a fetus to term would endanger the life of the mother; includes no exception in situations when the fetus is severely deformed; etc.

    • elw

      I think most Americans could not even tell you at what week abortions are banded right now. And you are right about wanting to see the questions; wording can really change how people answer the questions. I use to help the State I live in field-test questions they were putting on surveys and questionnaires – they almost always had to be rewritten. Education, culture and intelligence all affect how people interpret questions. That experience was very eye-opening for me.

      • Independent1

        Which is why I have no use for Gallup polls. I’m convinced that the Gallup polls (and some others) pose questions in such a way as to get a right-wing biased response. Given that Gallup was predicting a landslide for Romney, something had to be amiss.

        • elw

          People put way too much faith into polls. All they really measure is one point in time and with the high-information news cycle we have that means nothing. They hardly even show trends anymore.

          • Independent1

            I totally agree with you. My concern is that there are a lot of people who do put a lot of faith in them, and I’m not certain that biased polls don’t affect the way that the people who trust in them vote.

          • elw

            I think they do and that is the purpose of them or we would never see one of them quoted on TV, cable or in the news. Just more of the BS connected to the 24/7 News cycles.

          • Independent1

            Personally, I think polls should be banned from being broadcast at least within one week of an election. It is far too easy for polling organizations to skew the results of their polls to benefit whichever political candidate they are trying to push. And unlike paid ads on the TV which most voters take with a grain of salt, too many voters believe polls and may have their votes swayed by a poll that has been purposely skewed to favor a candidate.

          • elw

            I agree, I think it is part of the reason some people still think Romney won – they were listening to the wrong polls.

  • Dominick Vila

    I am convinced that while most Americans support limited abortions, in cases involving the life of the mother, rape or incest, most oppose abortions associated with career or other personal imperatives and most oppose late term abortions except, perhaps, if the life of the mother is at stake.
    The Democratic party is on the wrong side of the political pendulum on this issue.

    • elw

      I usually agree with most of what you say, but in this case I think you are wrong, We already have limitations on abortion and always have. People will argue over what restrictions are good or bad, but if you ask most people straight out should
      abortion be legal they will say yes. The Republicans love to confuse the issue
      with minor details that will not apply to the overwhelming majority of women
      seeking abortion. For example, of the nearly 50 million abortions performed in
      2009 only 1.5% were done between 20 and 24 weeks. So their new restriction will apply to only a few women. They are trying to do to abortion what they are
      doing with voting – chipping away at the right until it is only exists on paper. However, there is a big difference between abortion and voting, abortion will just revert back to the hidden industry it once was putting many women’s lives in danger. Ask people about that and see what reaction you get.

    • Independent1

      Dominick, I agree with elw, when are people going to realize that women don’t make the decision on whether to have an abortion based on ‘what most Americans support”? Women who choose to abort, do so for a miriad of reasons based on numerous life contingency factors which I’m sure I’m not qualified to expound on, but I’m fairly certain it has nothing to do with what other people think is appropriate. And if they decide they want to abort a fetus, they’re going to go forward with an abortion whether or not the state they live in has banned it or not. If it’s not banned, they’ll seek out a reputable clinic to have it done. If it is banned, they’ll find a state or country where it’s not banned and go there if they can afford to do that. If they can’t afford to do that, they’ll hunt for someone who will do the abortion for them on the blackmarket or whereever. People who think that a woman determined not to carry a fetus to term is going to carry it to term just because a majority of other Americans think she should, are just purely delusional.

      • Dominick Vila

        I agree with everything that you and elw pointed out. My point, which perhaps I did not articulate as clearly as I should have, is that based on my interaction with friends, neighbors, and close relatives many Americans do not support late term abortions or abortions associated with professional or social considerations. My perception may be skewed by the fact that most of my friends, and some of my relatives, are Republicans and that the centerpiece of their opposition to President Obama’s policies and actions is their opposition to abortion.

        • Independent1

          I can fully understand Republican supporters having the opinions on abortion that you’re describing. It’s just unfortunate that these kinds of folks who don’t seem to realize that banning abortions is not going to accomplish the objective they’re looking for – it’s not going to stop abortions and save a great many fetuses; it’s just going to send women wanting abortions elsewhere or underground and quite likely result in many more women dying from botched abortion procedures.

          • Dominick Vila

            I agree. Banning abortions will not stop women who have decided to have one from having it. It simply means that they will have to travel overseas or have back alley procedures that may result in serious physical damage or even death. Bear in mind for anti-abortion advocates, the life of the mother is not even a consideration. In fact, they consider women seeking abortion evil and deserving of death.

          • angelsinca

            Why would anyone wait over five months to choose an abortion? It seems the pro-abortionist has no concern for the likely horror experienced by the unborn beyond this reasonable line in the sand of 20 weeks. Pleaase tell us that our liberal friends aren’t as devoid of compassion as this indicates.

          • Dominick Vila

            You rationale used by your “liberal” friends to justify late term abortions, which are rare, is because of the compassion they feel towards the mother when her life is in danger as a result of pregnancy, or because of major fetal deformities that compromise the life of both the mother and the fetus. I doubt very seriously that women who have carried a fetus for 20 weeks decide to abort because of social or professional reasons. We are lucky we don’t have to make the choices that some women have to make, often against their wishes. Consider that when you talk about compassion.

          • angelsinca

            “Consider that when you talk about compassion”

            I have and came to the same conclusions you have.

        • angelsinca

          “…the centerpiece of their opposition to President Obama’s policies and actions is their opposition to abortion.”

          If you asked them, they would likely say they felt that way long before they even knew what an Obama was.

          • Dominick Vila

            The alleged “scandals” and wedge issues such as abortion, same sex marriage, and gun control, to name a few, are excuses to hide what is really behind the hatred shown towards our first African American President.

          • angelsinca

            And what is ‘really’ behind the hatred shown towards our first black president? We know how many want to believe Obama is diliked because of his color. But the proof is lacking. It is more likely he isn’t liked because of the continual departure away from what the majority wants and how republicans have been portrayed as the enemy by this president.

          • Dominick Vila

            I am fully aware of the fact that not every Republican oppose President Obama’s agenda because of his ethnicity, but many do.
            When people demonize healthcare reform designed to include 20 million Americans who are currently uninsured, when they oppose eliminating the draconian pre-existing condition that prevented millions of handicapped Americans – including one of my grandsons – from getting the medical care they needed to survive and live with a modicum of dignity, when they oppose the elimination of insurance caps that resulted in tens of thousands of Americans selling everything they had to get the medical care they needed, and other such issues the only conclusion we can reach is that there must be something else besides philosophical or political differences of opinion. The same goes for the Veterans Jobs Act, for the proposal to invest in infrastructure, for bailing out two major industrial icons, and for taking measures that contributed to our ability to prevent the economic collapse announced by former President Bush in 2008.
            Again, not every Republican is a racist, I know for a fact that my daughter is not, but many are and that is evident when we read some of the posts made by right wing supporters on blogs like this.

          • angelsinca

            Still, there is nothing to support opposition to Obama as racist other than opposition to disagreeable policy. The demonization of the Obamacare is, of course, NOT toward those things that OBVIOUSLY needed to be addressed. It’s due to the entire takeover by the government and the devious method that the ACA monstrosity was forced on us. and NOT racism. Based on your logic, the left hates Bush (still) because he is a white man.

          • Dominick Vila

            A government takeover of our healthcare system would have required the nationalization of hospitals and labs, and would have involved medical doctors and other healthcare professionals becoming government employees. That did not happen, and it is not about to happen any time soon. ACA uses for profit insurance companies to administer the system and to provide the healthcare coverage needed by those who are currently uninsured to get the preventive medical care they need to survive or live a healthy life. It is also designed to lower costs, reduce the incidence of fraud, reduce the cost of healthcare plans incurred by those employers who offer such benefit to their employees, and make a critical service available to ALL American citizens.
            You are correct in saying that opposition is not always, or even often, influenced by racism. Most of the opposition is influenced by the greed and obstinacy of those who already own most of the wealth in the USA.

          • angelsinca

            “Comparing the policies of (Bush and Obama)… is absurd.”

            Then why is everything Obama does excuse through comparison to his predecessor? The ’08 economic ‘collapse’ is erroneously assigned to the president. Obamacare; from its deceitful passing to its failing implementation, the people are becoming increasing fed up with its. CBS this morning reported the truth about its many failings and the NFL is being applauding for not becoming the cheerleader for the ppACA.

      • Allan Richardson

        I wonder if the GOP is being funded by the manufacturers of wire coat hangers.

  • elw

    I wonder if they bothered to ask the people answering poll if they knew when the legal cut-off for abortion was now. I bet most would not. There are some big problems with polling people with questions about abortion; you will not get honest answers. Like sex, abortion brings up conflicting emotions. How many times do people deny being sexually active? Our Society makes it hard for people to be open and honest about
    anything connect with Sex.

    Yes in a perfect world every pregnancy and baby would be wanted. However, we all know that a perfect world does not exist and when confronted with real life issues peoples idealistic views on what is right or wrong can be pushed and so can their behaviors. I spent a good part of my professional career working and counseling women in a clinic. I can tell you that one of the phases I heard often was “I am a
    Christian and should not do this, but I want an abortion.” They all had their reasons for their actions, most of them very valid. They all struggled with their decisions. The point is abortion is much more complicated than a simple question it is wrapped up in what is happening in a women’s life, the children she already has, her health and what is best for her family. Personally, I would bet if men were the ones who got pregnant abortion would be free, on demand with no restrictions – just like Viagra.

    • Independent1

      You are so right. I have 4 daughters,11 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren and doubt that my wife and I or any of our children would ever consider aborting a fetus unless it were for some very critical health reasons – like carrying the fetus would endanger the life of the mother, or ultrasounds showed that the fetus was severely deformed or some other major health concern I may not even be aware of. But I’ m opposed to banning abortions because I remember what things were like before Roe vs Wade when a very common news story was about reporting that a women had died while getting an illegal abortion at the hands of a quack – often in a very less than sanitary backroom or alley, and sometimes with the operating instrument being a coat hanger.

      I have not been convinced that Roe vs Wade has significantly increased women getting abortions, in my mind it has only made them safer and made it possible for anti abortionists to keep track of them. Before Roe vs Wade, abortions were done on the blackmarket with no one keeping track of them – so comparing before and after Roe vs Wade is a virtual impossibility. But I clearly believe anti-abortionists have no clue that banning them is going to solve very little – just like POT being illegal hasn’t kept people from using it; like banning booze in the 1920’s didn’t stop people from drinking; and like the current war on drugs isn’t keeping millions from using them. Anti-abortionists that think banning abortions is going to keep women from wanting and getting an abortion are simply delusional – which I think you made a good point of in your post. So in my mind, banning abortions is going to only do one thing – push women to get illegal abortions and revert America back to where it was before Roe vs Wade – resulting in many women dying while getting an illegal abortion with very little of what anti-abortionists think they’ll get – the saving of fetuses.

      • elw

        Yes, if the Republicans were really interested in reducing abortions they would spent their time and effort on educating young people on pregnancy prevention and making sure all women and men had access to brith control and get educated on how to use it. They will never be able to stop people from having sex (anymore than they can stop them from eating) and as long as people keep having sex women are going to have accidental pregnancies. Sometimes when I hear Republicans talking I believe they were born old and without hormones.

      • latebloomingrandma

        I agree with everything you wrote. If legal abortions were banned, they would not be stopped, but would allow anti-abortionist zealots to self-righteously pat themselves on the back that they saved millions of babies. Have they never heard of organized crime or the internet? What a new opportunity for more sleaze bag “entrepreneurs”. Don”t we have enough sinister underground industries, fueled by the internet? Child porn and child trafficking are facilitated by on-line sites. I predict with abortion being “outlawed” a new real ugly industry will emerge. Abortion can be reduced with education about safe sex, respect for oneself and human sexuality, and changing hearts and minds. Remove the desperation that some women fell when being confronted with an unwanted pregnancy, and maybe they will choose life.

        • Independent1

          Thanks for the insight. I hadn’t thought about how the internet could play a big roll in helping quacks and questionable medical providers in enticing women into letting them perform illegal abortions for them in states that ban them. You’re right – it could become a big business; unfortunately.

  • Russell Byrd

    Polls are extremely valuable tools, but asking leading questions
    can skew the results to a false conclusion. As well, failing to
    understand what the answers really mean can seriously mislead even in a
    well run survey.

    I for one, am not for abortions at 20 weeks or otherwise. Why would
    most people be? Even asking that question would make a poll’s results
    USELESS. What I am for is the right of a woman to make her own choices.
    Not only does any person have that right, but as a man, and one that
    has nothing to do with the woman’s situation, I DO NOT have a right to
    interfere.

    This is the way I see things. Am I pro-Choice? YES. Am I
    pro-abortion: That is a question that only an ignorant bigot would be
    stupid enough to ask.

  • Carolyn Stine

    My problem with the bill is what else is in it!!! Those Republicans are sneaky! Once I know that, then I can make an informed decision as to whether or not I would support such a ban. However, it will never pass the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • RobertCHastings

    A plurality does NOT constitute a majority.

  • angelsinca

    Good presentation of the poll results, except the unnecessary anti-republican barbs at the end. It is interesting that whenever there is disagreement with poll results, the credibility of the pollster is always cast into doubt. Facts are something the conservative supposedly will not embrace. They aren’t alone, apparently.

  • docb

    A snapshot…How big was the sample …more than 3,000 or 5,000?…How was the question ask? A majority and a plurality are not the same..

  • neonnautilus

    There are very good reasons – incest and rape, e.g. – and sometimes even life-saving reasons to get an abortion. I would not like to see it criminalized (felony) and I would like to see it available at any stage of the pregnancy when the life of the mother is at stake or when the condition of the foetus/baby would mean a life as a vegetable or worse. However, I would like to see it limited when it is being used as birth control, or because you didn’t use birth control. I think 20 weeks is plenty of time to choose under the last conditions and I would like to see it limited to that, with exceptions for the other circumstances.

  • Sand_Cat

    How does this “plurality” feel about starving them, mis-educating them, or allowing them to be beaten to a pulp in the name of “parental rights” once they’re actually born?