America’s move to the left on social issues continues as a new Gallup poll has found that for the first time in seven years more Americans identify themselves as pro-choice than pro-life.
A new Gallup poll found that:
Half of Americans consider themselves “pro-choice” on abortion, surpassing the 44% who identify as “pro-life.” This is the first time since 2008 that the pro-choice position has had a statistically significant lead in Americans’ abortion views.
For most of the past five years, Americans have been fairly evenly divided in their association with the two abortion labels. The only exception between 2010 and 2014 was in May 2012, when the pro-life position led by 50% to 41%.
Prior to 2009, the pro-choice side almost always predominated, including in the mid-1990s by a substantial margin. While support for the pro-choice position has yet to return to the 53% to 56% level seen at the time, the trend has been moving in that direction since the 2012 reading.
The Koch fueled Republican takeover of state level offices has led to a surge in anti-choice legislation, but Republicans are out step with the direction of a majority of the country. At the federal level, when Congressional Republicans pass bills that take away the right to choose, they are appealing to a shrinking constituency of supporters.
Socially, the United States is moving to the left. Majorities in the country support immigration reform, same-sex marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and accept climate change as reality. On all of these issues, Republicans are in the minority.
The social movement to the left was also found in last week’s Gallup poll that revealed that social liberals outnumber social conservatives. This hasn’t translated to success for Democrats in midterm elections because many millennials who share similar beliefs as Democrats don’t vote.
A recent poll by Toluna Quicksurveys found that Millennials support Democrats by a margin of 41%-21%, and 91% plan on voting in the 2016 election. The problem for Democrats is that 30% also said that they vote in presidential elections, but not in state and local elections.
Most Americans are pro-choice, but a sizable number of these individuals aren’t voting in the elections that determine the policy direction of many states on social issues. If pro-choice Americans don’t vote, their states elect governors and legislators that carry out an anti-choice agenda.
What this dynamic means for 2016 is that the Republican presidential candidates will be trying to win an anti-choice primary in order to run in a general election when the majority of voters are likely to be pro-choice.
The U.S. has shifted left on social issues, but for that shift to reflected in policy, voters must vote in non-presidential year elections.
Republicans can’t stop it. America is becoming a liberal nation.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association
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