By Dave Andrusko
Sometimes what appears to be almost a throwaway line in a news story is important, not because it tells us something new (although it might) but because it acknowledges a truth which rarely sees the light of day.
First the backdrop for the results of a CNN poll released today.
The hook for the story is that three issues–“Guns, immigration, abortion”–are “increasingly important to voters.” Our concern, obviously, is only the latter.
What’s the important oh-by-the-way line in the story?
Overall, 39% of adults in the new poll think abortion should be legal in most circumstances, 58% that it should be illegal in most.
Even though we have made that argument over and over and over again, ordinarily we read/hear about the “pro-choice” majority. In this case, CNN did its job.
CNN found that 18% said abortion should be illegal. Then it separated out those who believe abortion should be legal in “a few cases” [40%] versus those who said abortion should be legal in “most cases” [13%].
Putting together those who said abortion should be illegal with those who said legal in a few cases, CNN found that 58% believe abortion “should be illegal in most” circumstances.
One other important point. The change from almost a month ago was the increase in the percentage that said abortion should be legal in only a few circumstances–from 37% to 40%–with a concomitant drop in those who said abortion should be legal in all circumstances–from 30% to 26%.
I could not find in the poll results included online a breakdown (assuming there was one) of those who now thought abortion is “an important issue.” That is, was it more important to pro-lifers than pro-abortionists. Traditionally it is always more important to pro-lifers.
All I see was the summary–it had increased from 20% of adults to 27%.
In addition, the poll of 1,012 adults September 4-8 found that “About 71% say it’s more important for Congress to approve a budget agreement that would avoid a government shutdown than to defund Planned Parenthood, 22% say it’s a bigger priority to eliminate the organization’s federal funding.”
According to CNN’s Jennifer Agiesta, “Even among those who say abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, however, 63% say it’s a higher priority for the government to approve a budget and avoid a shutdown than to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood.”