Abortion II
Other candidates’ and political leaders’ 
remarks go to this site.

Issues 2000

...study has interesting implications for candidates who wish to use the abortion issue to garner more support from the electorate. In the 1996 election, voters who felt that the abortion issue was important or extremely important were more likely to vote for the Democratic candidate, Bill Clinton. However, there was a large segment that fell in the middle of the extreme responses on the importance question. These varying degrees of importance may help to explain contradictory voters -those who are pro-choice but vote for a pro-life candidate, or those who are pro-life and vote for a pro-choice candidate. It may be that other issues overshadow the abortion issue for these contradictory voters, causing them to cast what seems to be a contradictory vote. It may be harder for voters to rationalize such a contradictory vote when the abortion issue takes center stage in the campaign. Researchers have found evidence that some voters do make abortion policy-based candidate selections, particularly when candidates take clear positions on the issue. This effect is magnified when the abortion stances of the candidates are well publicized (Abramowitz, 1995, 177). If the candidates shy away from the abortion issue and emphasize other issues instead, voters may likely do the same thing. It may prove strategically wise for certain candidates to downplay the abortion issue during a campaign. When candidates emphasize the abortion issue, voters may perceive it to be more important as well. As the results of my study show (see Table 7), the more importance a person accords to the abortion issue, the more likely they were to vote for Bill Clinton. A study by Kevin B. Smith supports these conclusions. In this study, he states, there are “clear winners and losers in terms of gaining votes on the abortion issue. Pro-choice attitudes appear to be enough to pull some Republicans into voting Democratic and to prevent some Democrats from voting Republican. There is no evidence that pro-life attitudes create similar effects” (1994, 361). In this case, the clear loser was Bob Dole.


The findings of the study are interpreted in traditional fashion. But the resulting conclusions are not strongly supported. The statistician did not emphasize that the total impact of the abortion issue on the election was indeed favorable to Clinton, but by a minimal number of votes. His figures say that the crossovers almost cancel each other out. Therefor Clinton gained 2.14 and Dole gained 1.84 , The difference is .30%. Add in the margin of error, and at least this study (the first one that came up when I searched “abortion”) supports my theory. The issue is mostly static to preclude other meaningful dialogue. We really are not to govern ourselves. We are to only give that appearance. So if Dole’s remarks on the subject made her less popular, it was not over the abortion issue, but rather over departing from the rules of the game of politics. The other players (lobbyists, media, other candidates, party officials, etc.) may have felt threatened by her candor). Unfortunately the American people were willing to let the other players in the game of politics, make their decisions for them, after they interpret for them and tell them how to vote.

We intended to elaborate further on this issue. However, we are not inclined to add to the political cacophony that precludes meaningful dialogue. If “the feminists” loose an issue, an important issue, maybe their only issue... We don’t much care. We have better things to talk about, and we will. We applaud Mrs. Dole’s courageous remarks. And we see that indeed she is a politician that “will always tell it like it is”, not confuse and bore the electorate with the usual static.