As the 2020 election approaches, candidates' stances on abortion may be the deciding factor.
The 2020 election season is already underway, as candidates from the Democrat side of the aisle are vying for their party’s nomination to compete against the most likely opponent, President Donald Trump, in November. While the debates are introducing us to possible contenders, however, a poll from the Marist Institute of Popular Opinion suggests that candidates’ stances on abortion could be the deciding factor of who wins the presidency.
The poll, which surveyed a random selection of 1,237 American adults of voting age, found that 55% of them identify as pro-choice, with 40% pro-life, and 5% undecided. Although the populace seems to be in favor of the right to choose, further questioning surprisingly found that roughly 70% of respondents, from both sides of the debate, are in favor of restricting abortion.
Of this 70% in favor of significant restriction, 24% said abortion should be limited to within the first three months of a pregnancy and 26% said it should be used sparingly, only in instances of rape, incest, or to save the mother’s life. Another 11% would see it restricted to use only in when the mother’s life is in danger, and 9% said there is no instance in which abortion is acceptable.
When asked how important a candidate’s position on abortion is to their voting decisions, 38% of respondents suggested that it would be a “major factor” in determining their vote. Another 36% went on to say that it was a “minor factor,” with 25% admitting that abortion was not their primary concern in this election. This data suggests that nearly 74% of voters will enter the booths with abortion legislation on their minds.
As far as voting practices go, 65% of those polled responded favorably to the idea of voting for a candidate who supports significant abortion restrictions. 88% of surveyed Republicans and 44% of surveyed Democrats said they are looking for a candidate who will challenge the country’s current abortion practices.
The survey also asked if respondents thought that abortion laws could protect both the mother and the child, or if they felt that legislation must choose one person to champion. Of the 1,237 people questioned, a resounding 80% stated that they saw no reason why a law could not protect both.
The survey went on to find that nearly two-thirds of the country opposed the abortion of babies with Down syndrome. In this question, 50% of pro-choice respondents said that they oppose/strongly oppose the practice. Marist also reported that more than half the country supports or strongly supports the requirement of an ultrasound examination at least 24 hours prior to the abortion.