Monday, May 14, 2007

Honest Polling on Roe v. Wade, Abortion Views

Polls on abortion and Roe v. Wade typically so completely misstate the law and the effect of overturning Roe that they are of little value in actually assessing opinion.

Here's a fresh approach. The Ethics and Public Policy Center and Judicial Confirmation Network teamed up for a poll, first asking for views on overturning Roe and THEN explaining what overturning Roe would actually mean and asking the question again. Despite the fact that people would have to admit to changing their views on this hot button question in the space of a few minutes, the poll shows a notable shift in the direction of support for overturning Roe once people are given even a brief summary of what that means, from 55 to 34 against overturning Roe to only 48-43 against - within the margin of error. And 60% believe abortion should be illegal in the vast majority of cases. A memo describing the poll results is here. The polling results themselves are here. Or for a shorter version of all this, just read Ed Whelan's post at Bench Memos.