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Poll: Romney may have slight edge among abortion voters

Mitt Romney could benefit from a slight pro-life edge among single-issue abortion voters in November, according to a new Gallup poll.

One in six voters say they will only support a presidential candidate who shares their views on abortion. Abortion is the threshold issue for 21 percent of pro-life voters and 15 percent of those who are pro-choice.

Gallup notes in its report accompanying the poll, “That represents 9% and 7%, respectively, of all voters — a slight pro-life tilt, albeit one that could potentially benefit pro-life Republican candidate Mitt Romney.”

Forty-nine percent of pro-lifers and 43 percent of pro-choice voters consider abortion one of many important factors in their vote.

Social issues went unmentioned in Wednesday night’s debate — which was focused exclusively on the economy — but abortion advocacy played a prominent role at the Democratic National Convention. Pro-choice activists have accused Republicans of waging a “war on women.”

The balance between pro-life and pro-choice abortion-centric voters has been consistent since the 1996 presidential election, according to Gallup’s polling.

Each year showed pro-lifers narrowly outnumbering pro-choicers among single-issue abortion voters.

Only in 2004 was the gap large. That year, 12 percent of pro-life voters said they would only cast their ballot for a candidate who agreed with them on abortion. Only 5 percent of pro-choice voters said the same.

Exit polls have historically shown the pro-life advantage to be somewhat larger.

In 1992, pro-life George Bush beat pro-choice Bill Clinton by 55 percent to 36 percent among voters who considered abortion one of their top issues.

Pro-life Bob Dole beat Clinton 60 percent to 34 percent among these voters in 1996.

George W. Bush carried voters who thought abortion was one of the most important issues by 58 percent to 41` percent over pro-choice Al Gore in the closely contested 2000 presidential election.

After losing to Bush in 2004, John Kerry said that the abortion issue was hurting Democratic candidates.

Gallup’s poll was conducted from Sept. 24 to Sept. 27.

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