A new poll commissioned by Planned Parenthood Votes says it finds that only eight percent of Republican voters who are sticking with Alabama Senate Republican candidate Judge Roy Moore made that decision because of Democrat Doug Jones’s views on abortion.
Planned Parenthood Votes — which lobbies on behalf of abortion rights for women and works to elect like-minded candidates for public office — hired Clarity Campaign Labs, a Democratic polling firm, to attempt to find out why many Republicans would not switch their vote from Moore to Jones, given the accusations of sexual misconduct against Moore.
Clarity says results of the survey of 707 Alabama voters — conducted prior to the time the allegations against Moore were in the news — found abortion is an insignificant issue in the race.
According to Clarity:
Our major finding in this research is that abortion is moving less than 1% of the total electorate to support Roy Moore over Doug Jones. Eighty-one percent of Moore supporters were always voting for him – and less than 1.5% (or 0.7 pts) of Moore’s total support is made up of voters who switched from considering supporting Jones to supporting Moore because of Jones’ position on abortion. Additionally, 1.6% (or 0.6 pts) of Jones’ support comes from voters who considered supporting Moore, but moved towards Jones based on his pro-reproductive health care position.
While likely Alabama voters oppose legal abortion 62% – 28%, nearly one in five Moore voters support legal abortion, with 18% of Moore voters believing that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 76% believing that the right to seek an abortion should be restricted by law in most or all cases. This indicates room for Jones to pick up support among these voters as the landscape of this race continues to shift.
According to the survey, 36 percent said they did not consider voting for Jones because of “Other/General Dislike” of the Democrat, and 27 percent said they were “unsure.”
In September, Jones told MSNBC’s MTP Daily host, Chuck Todd:
I’m not in favor of anything that is going to infringe on a woman’s right and her freedom to choose. That’s just the position that I’ve had for many years. It’s a position I continue to have.
But when those people — I want to make sure that people understand that once a baby is born, I’m going to be there for that child. That’s where I become a right to lifer.
In November, Jones started to walk back his comments on abortion, complaining that he was a victim of an “attack.”
“Those comments, everybody wants to attack you so they are going to make out on those comments what they want to their political advantage,” Jones told Al.com, adding:
To be clear, I fully support a woman’s freedom to choose to what happens to her own body. That is an intensely, intensely personal decision that only she, in consultation with her god, her doctor, her partner or family, that’s her choice.
Having said that, the law for decades has been that late-term procedures are generally restricted except in the case of medical necessity. That’s what I support. I don’t see any changes in that. It is a personal decision.
However, the United States is only one of seven nations — alongside North Korea and China — to allow elective abortion on demand after five months of pregnancy.
Additionally, a study published at the pro-reproductive rights Guttmacher Institute’s Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health found that women seeking late-term abortions were not pursuing them primarily for “medical necessity.”
Dr. Elizabeth Johnson, writing at the pro-life Charlotte Lozier Institute (CLI), observed that, in the Guttmacher study, women seeking both first-trimester and late-term abortions reported with similar frequency “not knowing about the pregnancy,” “trouble deciding about the abortion,” and “disagreeing about the abortion with the man involved.”
More often than women in the first-trimester group, women in the late-term abortion group also gave reasons such as “difficulty securing insurance coverage,” “difficulty getting to the abortion facility,” and “not knowing where to go for an abortion” as reasons for delaying the procedure.
For many years, abortion-rights advocates have asserted that abortions after 20 weeks are performed because of maternal health complications or lethal fetal anomalies discovered late in pregnancy.
However, wider data from both the medical literature and late-term abortion providers indicates that most late-term procedures are not performed for these reasons.
In its report on the Planned Parenthood Votes survey, HuffPost states, “Planned Parenthood has no involvement in the Alabama special election and has not endorsed a candidate.”
The taxpayer-funded abortion provider, however, did not hesitate to take a jab at Moore on Twitter:
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) November 17, 2017
Jones himself has said he “stands with Planned Parenthood” — an organization that champions no restrictions whatsoever on abortion throughout pregnancy — on his campaign website.
HuffPost states about the survey:
Republicans have tried to portray Democratic candidate Doug Jones as extreme on the issue, with a super PAC running an ad claiming that he “supports abortion in even the most extreme circumstances.” At a rally last month, Moore’s wife told the crowd that Jones supported “full-term abortion.”
And there’s been significant speculation that if Jones were anti-abortion, maybe ― just maybe ― some Republicans who find Moore distasteful would vote Democratic.
According to HuffPost, Clarity’s pollster John Hagner says emphasizing Moore’s pro-life stance in the Senate race is “an act of desperation” on the part of Republicans in a “tight” race against Jones.
“Even before the revelations [about his alleged pursuit of teenagers] came out, choice wasn’t what was determining the race,” he states, adding:
If there was a pro-life Democrat running in this race, would he or she be doing better? We don’t see any evidence here that that’s the case. There are people who won’t vote for any Democrat because of choice, but those are people who wouldn’t vote for any Democrat. They aren’t inclined, they’re not winnable voters.
However, pro-life Democrats would like to vote for a pro-life Democratic candidate — but the national party has, for the most part, dismissed them.
In the 2016 presidential race, failed Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, like Jones, was clear about her support for women’s abortion rights up until birth, even to the point of stating unborn babies have no constitutional right to life.
The Democratic Party’s 2016 platform was the most pro-abortion ever, with the party fully embracing taxpayer-funded abortion and Planned Parenthood — even amidst allegations of the group’s profiteering from the sale of aborted fetuses.
Most believed Donald Trump would be trounced by Clinton, but stunned Democrats are still in a state of shock over his victory.
Additionally, after the 2014 midterm elections in which Democrats were nearly shut out, the abortion lobby attempted to distance themselves from the disastrous results as well.
“There is no evidence to support the contention that a focus on the ‘war on women’ ‘cost’ Democrats their elections,” Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America defended themselves in a statement, according to the Hill.
Interestingly, when Planned Parenthood supporter Sen. Al Franken (D) was hit with multiple allegations of sexual misconduct in November, Breitbart News contacted national groups Planned Parenthood, EMILY’s List, and NARAL Pro-Choice America for comments on the accusations against Franken but received no response.
Moore and Jones are vying for the U.S. Senate seat previously held by current Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a special election on December 12.