Swing voters resist Obama's abortion record, says poll

By Michelle Bauman

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A new poll among likely voters in four swing states revealed significant opposition to the positions held by President Barack Obama on abortion and religious freedom.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, said the poll shows that “pro-life voters make up a sizable voting bloc capable of achieving victory in close elections.”

“President Obama’s record of supporting abortion for any reason and at any time is so extreme that even supporters are turning away,” she said in a Sept. 26 statement announcing the release of the polling data.

Commissioned by the Susan B. Anthony List, the poll was conducted by the Polling Company Inc./WomenTrend on Sept. 18-19. It reached out to likely voters in the swing states of Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin who “were not solidly committed to either Mitt Romney or Barack Obama.”

The survey questioned participants about their likelihood to vote for Obama after telling them about his record of supporting abortion, which includes opposing Illinois’ Born Alive Infant Protection legislation as a state senator.

A majority of swing voters said that they were less likely to support Obama “after learning that he voted against a law to give equal treatment and constitutional protections to babies born alive after a failed abortion.”

This was true of 53 percent of women, 46 percent of independents and 43 percent of people who identified as pro-choice.

Respondents also said by a 2-to-1 margin that they were less likely to vote for the president due to his inclusion of taxpayer-funding of abortion in the health care reform law.

In addition, the poll found that 69 percent of swing voters were opposed to the controversial federal mandate that requires religious institutions to violate their consciences by offering coverage of contraception, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs in their health insurance plans.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they would be “much less likely” to vote for a candidate who implemented such a mandate.

“The presidential race – being fought mostly on economic and employment terrain – has been stuck in neutral for months,” said Kellyanne Conway, president and CEO of the Polling Company, Inc./WomanTrend.

She argued that in order to win, one of the candidates needs “a 'breakout' moment to distinguish him from the other and to hit a nerve with a skeptical electorate.”

Conway believes abortion could be this defining issue. She explained that when undecided voters in swing states are presented with “a few straightforward, specific facts about President Obama and abortion,” they are shocked.

The president's record on these issues “draws the ire of between one-half and two-thirds of the voters surveyed,” she said.

Dannenfelser said that in the final weeks before the election, the Susan B. Anthony List will be running “aggressive” mail, television and radio campaigns to “educate voters on Barack Obama’s abortion record – as well as his attack on conscience protections and religious liberty.”

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