CNN has released the results of exit polling in today’s vote on issue 1 and the polling data looks considerably skewed from national polling over the course of the last few years.
According to the CNN data, the electorate today supported abortion in what has been turning into more of a red state over the years – even though national polling data shows more Americans are pro-life than pro-abortion.
The Ohio electorate turning out for the vote largely favors legal abortion – roughly 3 in 10 say the procedure should be legal in all cases and about a third that it should be legal in most cases, similar to the 2022 electorate.
About 3 in 10 say it should be legal in all cases, and about one-tenth that it should never be legal, but the majority of the electorate stands somewhere in between. Notably, while Democrats lead Republicans when it comes to which party voters trust to handle abortion, it’s by only a single-digit margin.
Meanwhile, voters who turned out in favor of Issue 1 (and voted “yes”) hold strong views on abortion and Roe, more so than those who turned out in opposition (and voted “no”).
About 6 in 10 “yes” voters say they’re angry that Roe was overturned, compared with only about 4 in 10 “no” voters who say they are enthusiastic about the decision. And while roughly half of “yes” voters say abortion should always be legal, only about one-quarter of “no” voters want it to be illegal in all circumstances.
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Those results differ from Gallup’s polling that it conducted this summer.
As Gallup notes, “Specifically, close to half of Americans, 47%, now say abortion should be legal in all (34%) or most (13%) circumstances, while a similar proportion, 49%, want it legal in only a few (36%) or illegal in all (13%) circumstances.”
That means 49 percent of Americans take a pro-life position opposing all or most abortions while a lower 47% take a pro-abortion position supporting all or most abortions.
So why does CNN have the results at 61% pro-abortion and Gallup at 47% pro-abortion?
First, even though Americans are still nominally pro-life overall, radical abortion activists are more angry that Roe was overturned than pro-life voters are happy about the Dobbs decision overturning it. That results in more abortion advocates turning out to the polls to vote for abortion because the smaller poll of pro-abortion voters are more incentivized to vote than the slightly larger poll of pro-life voters.
Secondly, Ohio voters also voted today on a ballot measure to legalize marijuana. That very likely increased turnout of liberal voters who were more likely to vote for abortion.
Third, the pro-abortion side dominated fundraising – with reports towards the end of the election showing that they had 3-1 fundraising advantage over pro-life groups. The out of state dark money and millions from leftists like George Soros, the ACLU and Planned Parenthood allowed the pro-abortion side to dominate TV and online with blatantly false commercials that further angered liberal voters and drove them to the polls in higher numbers.
To counter this, pro-life groups need to a) emphasize the great thigs Dobbs accomplished – from saving babies to helping women, b) engage in more work to identify and turn out voters in elections, c) do more to fundraise and find large donors who can help the prolife movement overcome the massive fundraising disparity so it can counter the avalanche of false ads.
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