Choice Remains a Key Issue in the Election

Watching some of the cable news coverage following the final presidential debate, one might come away with the impression that choice is not an issue that voters care about this year. Why, they asked, would so much of the debate have been wasted discussing abortion? No matter that the fate of Roe v. Wade, and perhaps even privacy decisions before that, is on the line, and that more broadly that a win by John McCain could open the door to a return to 19th century jurisprudence (I'm not exaggerating here) -- choice, these pundits say, is not important to voters' decisions.

Yet there is reason to believe that these pundits are simply wrong. First, the assumption that all swing voters are like "Joe the plumber" is wholly spurious. Undecideds don't tend to be far right-wingers who vote in Republican primaries and don't think Social Security is a "joke." In fact, contrary to what you might infer from the focus on "Joe the plumber," not all swing voters are white men. Some are actually women who care about issues other than raising taxes on the very well-to-do, issues that include choice. Indeed, as Marc Ambinder reports, the issue during the debate that drew the most interest and investigation, according to Google searches, was not taxes and -- I know this is a shock -- not even "Joe the plumber," but rather Roe.

Google's Top Debate Spikes

Well, spike: it was Roe v Wade, according to Google.

Check out the magnitude of Roe searches as compared to the searches for, say, "Joe The Plumber."

Earlier this year, polling (.pdf) indicated that about half of the women supporting McCain held pro-choice positions, and a not insignificant portion of them -- about a quarter, in fact -- believed that McCain agreed with them. That's right, a good chunk of women supporters of McCain believed that he, like them, was pro-choice.

Of course McCain isn't, and were these voters to find that out, it might be difficult for McCain to bamboozle them into voting for an end to Roe. At the least, the confusion over McCain's position on the issue was likely one of the reasons why Roe was the top search term during the debate -- which undermines the notion that choice doesn't matter in this election.

Tags: choice, White House 2008 (all tags)

Comments

5 Comments

McCain's just out of touch on this

The mainstream of public opinion has been so far from the Republican Party's hardline position on choice for so long, the only way they've been able to maintain credibility has been to have their national figures muddy the waters and obscure the depth of their opposition to reproductive health rights.

Schieffer's flatly correct statement of the two candidate's positions represented better journalism than is usually seen on the issue and forced McCain into a rare moment of candor. This is a candidate who doesn't care about women's health as it relates to the abortion question. End of story.

by Natasha Chart 2008-10-17 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Choice Remains a Key Issue in the Election

So then maybe that lovely little air quotes health of the mother moment should be included in a commercial then that starts with saying Who is John McCain - him saying he isn't W, with the identical speech clips cut together that the DAily show but not the DNC managed to pull together and then con't into some of his other lovely statements like this. For Christ sakes use his own words against him.

by jrsygrl 2008-10-17 09:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Choice Remains a Key Issue in the Election

I agree that those air quotes need to be blasted to undecided women.   Even women who are mostly opposed to abortion do not want to see their health issues put into air quotes.

by gavoter 2008-10-17 10:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Choice Remains a Key Issue in the Election

"REPUBLICANS ONLY CARE ABOUT PEOPLE UNTIL THEY ARE BORN".

Its certainly true of McCain and the Whack Job Right Wingers. Just another issue on which McCains true colors as a "Reformer/Maverick" is a total public relations lie. If he is Reformer/Maverick (he votes 95% of the time with the American Conservative Union--the USA oldest conservative lobbying group)then  the moon is definitely made out of green cheese.

by hddun2008 2008-10-17 11:03AM | 0 recs
MICHELE BACHMANN/CHRIS MATTHEWS

WHAT A DISGRACE THAT WOMAN IS.  I AM A CALIFORNIA NATIVE AND CAN'T BELIEVE MINNESOTA HAS A SUCH A WOMAN IN CONGRESS IN THAT STATE.  WITH HER CUNNING SMILE, SHE ACTUALLY COULD SAY THAT OBAMA WAS "ANTI-AMERICAN" AND THAT "THE MEDIA SHOULD DO AN EXPOSE TO SEE WHO IN CONGRESS IS ANTI-AMERICAN."  IS SHE KIDDING?  

IS SHE PSYCHIATRICALLY ILL?  SOMEONE NEEDS TO KNOCK HER ASS OUT OF OFFICE.  SHE IS A NUT CASE.  EVEN IF SHE IS A FAR RIGHT EXTREMIST, SHE IS WAY, WAY DIVISIVE.  SHE IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO YOUR PARTY.  IF I WAS A REPUBLICAN, I WOULD CHANGE MY PARTY!  OH MY GOD. I'M STILL IN SHOCK, AND IT'S 7 HOURS LATER!!!!

EVERY TIME I SEE THAT WOMAN ON TELEVISION, I ALMOST VOMIT.  IS SHE REALLY LIKE THAT IN PERSON?

by Laura Vitale 2008-10-18 12:13AM | 0 recs

Diaries

Advertise Blogads