Washington -- A poll released Thursday by the pro-abortion Republican Leadership Council backs up our assertion that most Republicans favor pro-life candidates.
When asked to choose between three hypothetical Republican candidates for office -- a pro-abortion candidate, a pro-life candidate "who focuses on the economy" and a pro-lifer "who focuses on family issues" -- 20.3% chose the family-issues candidate, while 36.8% selected the economically oriented pro-lifer and 39.5% selected the pro-abortion candidate.
The Republican Leadership Council is touting these results as meaning that pro-life Republicans do not fare well among the electorate or do not have strong support within the Republican Party. Their own polling data proves otherwise. Some 57.1 percent of respondents preferred a pro-life candidate to a pro-abortion candidate.
Furthermore, the polling question itself is specious. No pro-life Republican candidate focuses only on family issues. Pro-life candidates running for offices from President to state representative also discuss other issues that weigh heavily on the minds of voters -- from foreign policy to crime and from education to health care. A more accurate question would have focused simply on whether or not most Republicans favor a pro-life Republican versus a pro-abortion Republican candidate. In survey after survey the resounding answer has been yes.
More legitimate polls underscore the pro-life advantage.
A national poll of 1,008 voters conducted by Wirthlin Worldwide following last November's elections showed that if the Republican Party moves away from its pro-life position it will hurt its candidate's chances.
Voters were asked if they would be more or less likely to vote Republican if the Republican Party dropped its "stand that supports protecting the lives of unborn children and opposes both partial-birth abortion and the use of federal funds for abortion." The poll found that 51% would be "less likely" or "much less likely" to vote Republican while only 36% would be "more likely" or "much more likely." This represents a potential loss of 15% for the Republican Party if it would abandon its pro-life position.
Despite assertions by the media, the Wirthlin poll found that Republicans are united on the abortion issue. Sixty-four percent of Republicans took a pro-life position, while 32% took a pro-abortion position. Republican women gave equally pro-life responses, with 65% taking a pro-life position and 33% taking a pro-abortion position.
The Republican Leadership Council asked which of seven prospective Republican candidates for president they would support if the primary were held today; 40% chose Texas Gov. George W. Bush, followed by Elizabeth Dole with 27.2% and Dan Quayle with 9.3%. About 12% of respondents were undecided.
The Republican Leadership Council is looking to advance a pro-abortion agenda in the Republican party. Again, they need to look no further than their own polling to see that Republicans want a pro-life candidate. It's no coincidence that respondents chose either a pro-life Governor, a pro-life former Vice-President or a candidate who has intimated support for a Human Life Amendment as their top three choices.
The real question for the Republican Leadership Council to answer is why no pro-abortion Republican candidate made the cut. This is precisely because grassroots Republicans are very strongly pro-life. In 1996, pro-abortion Governor Pete Wilson ended his failed campaign for President after only one month. This time around he bucked before getting out of the starting gate. This lends further credence to the notion that most Republican Party supporters still do not want pro-abortion candidates.
The Republican Leadership Council poll of 408 likely GOP voters was conducted Feb. 3. It has a margin of error of +/-4.85%. The Wirthlin Worldwide polling information was provided by the National Right to Life Committee.
The Republicans for Life PAC (Email: GOPLifePAC@aol.com) is a political action committee dedicated to promoting the right to life within the Republican Party and supporting pro-life Republican candidates for elected office. Please send your donations to the Republicans for Life Political Action Committee, P.O. Box 104, Chatham, IL 62629. For more information, email GOPLifePAC@aol.com