Democrats and the mirage of majority support for unlimited abortion

By Dave Andrusko

As we end the week, let me offer one more look at what recent abortion polling data is telling us.

NRL News Today has already posted multiple times about the back flips on abortion of former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden. As the Democrat Party goes off the deep end on abortion—through “all 40 weeks”—and becomes squishy on infanticide, Biden the supposed “moderate” on abortion has thrown in his lot with the zanies whose hard-line abortion-now-and-forever is orthodoxy among Democrats running for President in 2020.

Support for the Hyde Amendment, Mr. Biden? That was so yesterday.

A recent column in the New York Times referenced a typically thoughtful story by Emma Green of The Atlantic. The gist of both is that captured in the column written by the Times’ opinion columnist David Leonhardt headlined, ”The Tricky Politics of Abortion: Public opinion isn’t where either side wants it to be.”

But let’s dig a little deeper.

The background is that Democrats and most of the media (cohorts of long standing) have persuaded themselves that the abortion calculus is now moving in their direction. Really? Let’s consider the following.

Yesterday we analyzed a column by Slate’s Will Saletan which built a case, brick by brick, demonstrating that Biden’s embrace of federal funding of abortion is a huge miscalculation. The public doesn’t want its pockets picked to pay for abortion and whatever short-term benefit Biden may enjoy among Democrats will cost him with the general electorate.

As it will for the other Democrats who tout their eagerness to end the Hyde Amendment.

Moreover, as Green observes, referring to the unwillingness of the crop of presidential candidates to accept any limitations,

This full embrace of abortion is the culmination of decades-long shifts in rhetoric and strategy among Democrats. It’s also a bet on what’s going to work in the next general election. Democratic candidates believe Democratic voters want abortion rights expanded, ensuring that the procedure is safe, legal, and available on demand. Of course, that bet runs the risk that voters who aren’t on board will stay quiet, stay home, or vote for someone else.

But the percentage of voters who “aren’t on board” is considerably larger than those who are. And abortion will be a prominent issue in the 2020 election, so they are highly unlikely to “stay quiet” or “stay home.”

You simply cannot exaggerate how far away from the mainstream these Democrats have moved. Abortion for any reason throughout pregnancy paid for the voters? Isn’t going to fly.

And that applies to many of those Democrats (and Independents) who voted for President Trump in 2016. We’ve written early and often how Mr. Trump’s full-throated embrace of the pro-life position and willingness to call out Hillary Clinton’s radical embrace of abortion helped him win. This paragraph comes near the end of Green’s post:

In the general election, however, abortion may be a make-or-break issue for some swing voters, who will likely be looking to Democrats for compromise. The crucial swing states that helped Trump secure victory over Clinton—including Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida—have only razor-thin majorities supporting abortion in all or most cases, according to research from Pew. These voters could really matter: Some moderates and conservatives who were initially uncomfortable with Trump specifically point to the third presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton endorsed third-trimester abortion, as the decisive moment that solidified their reluctant support for Trump.

1. Pew always exaggerates support for abortion.

2. So there are lot more of “These voters could really matter” [“moderates” and “conservatives”] than Pew would have you believe. AND

3. “Some” (I strongly suspect a lot, not some) “specifically point to the third presidential debate, when Hillary Clinton endorsed third-trimester abortion, as the decisive moment that solidified their reluctant support for Trump.”

Whoever the Democrat Party nominee is, he or she will be even more unapologetically pro-abortion than Clinton. Whatever Democrats are telling themselves now, that is a recipe for electoral disaster.