On May 23, 2012, Gallup released a poll that showed that people who identify themselves as ‘pro-choice’ was at a record low of 41%. Additionally, Americans who described themselves as pro-life, at the time, constituted 50% of the population. That nine point margin in America’s ongoing culture war has flipped. Pro-choice Americans are now 54% of the population, compared to 38% who are pro-life, according to Rasmussen. As Allahpundit of Hot Air posted on November 15, “elections have consequences.” However, it begs the question, where did all the pro-lifers go?
For one thing, we’re a liberal democracy – a republic to be exact. As such, governments are based on public opinion, and opinion is shiftable sand. Therefore, there are no permanent victories in democracy. Conservative commentator George Will has spoken about this ad nauseum, and aptly made the observation that Sen. Barry Goldwater, who lost in the ’64 presidential election, knew about this aspect in American society. Hence, why people say Goldwater didn’t lose in 1964, it just took sixteen years to count all the votes. Reagan’s win in 1980 was the reaffirmation of Goldwater’s conservative conscience.
However, it cannot be denied that some Republican senate candidates made rather irresponsible remarks about rape and abortion on the campaign trail, which hurt the pro-life movement. Richard Mourdock in Indiana and Todd Akin in Missouri are the two names that comes up frequently in this discussion. Without a doubt, they paid a heavy price for their poorly constructed narratives that moved those leaning towards the pro-life argument, towards the pro-choice camp. Allahpundit reaffirms this claim, citing a CNN poll from last August showing that, “[Abortion was] nice and steady there in the mid-20s for ‘legal under any circumstances’ over the past five years — until suddenly, in August of this year, the number jumps. Why? Well, what else happened in August this year? Right: Todd Akin opened his yapper about “legitimate rape” and women’s supposed biological defense mechanisms against it and that was the beginning of the end for Republican chances to take back the Senate. How big a deal was it? Weeks later, the NYT poll was seeing more support for the idea that abortion should be “generally available” than it had in over 15 years.”
So, if some people, who are pro-life, are wondering why they lost popular support, they need only to look at some of the politicians selected to support their cause in Washington D.C. We need to be smarter.