Saturday, May 06, 2006

What Polling Data Are MDP Officials Looking at on Abortion?

One has to wonder what our state party officials in Lansing are smoking when they appear to be promoting an anti-abortion Democratic Party candidate to be our nominee for Michigan Attorney General.

Perhaps our state party officials have access to data that we don't have that says that Democrats can win more votes by turning against party activists who have worked for years in opposition to further restrictions on abortion. But all the data we have seen shows that a majority of Americans and even a substantial percentage of Republican Party members are still solidly in favor of legalized abortion. An April LA Times, Bloomberg nationwide poll on the subject shows 58% of Americans disapprove of The South Dakota effort to ban abortion and only 34% approve and 42% of Republicans disapprove of the ban on abortion.

Additional data on the link above also shows at most that only a third or much less approve of abortion bans depending on how the questions are asked. So where the hell are the whizzes at MDP in Lansing getting their data that shows that one of our key state positions can or should be held by an anti-abortion candidate.

Of course, we have heard that our party did pick up six spots in the Michigan House last election and four of those Democrats were anti-abortion (they say pro-life), but one wonders if we couldn't have picked up 10 seats if our party didn't sell out some of our key activists on the abortion issue. It does indeed make sense to open doors for pro-life Democrats to feel free to express their opinions and help us to understand their feelings about abortion. But most party activists in our neck of the woods feel that government has no place in making decisions on matters that should be private and personal. A small minority should not dictate public policy simply because they are more vocal. Our party may wind up shooting itself in the foot by alienating our base and our most activist Democrats. Perhaps Democrats in Isabella County are somehow different from the rest of the country and the rest of the state, but I doubt it.

Our local data and anecdotal evidence shows that local Democrats who were pro-choice could not bring themselves to vote at all in the state legislative race when the choice was between a pro-life Democrat and a pro-life Republican. We had a record turnout of Democratic Party voters in our county in 2004, but also a record number of undervotes in the 99th District House race. We see no evidence in our county that a Democratic Party candidate who is oppossed to abortion will do any better here than a pro-choice candidate.

We frankly think our state party officials need to take another look at the data or show us where our data is wrong.


Blogger Rob said...

With abortion, I've heard that the poll results vary depending on how the pollster phrases the question.

I don't have any numbers at hand, but this is how someone once explained it to me. When asked if women should have control over their bodies, most people agree. Then, if you ask people whether an unborn baby is a person, most people also agree.

My point is that some Americans seem to be inconsistent in their views.

Maybe the MDP is looking at other polls with differently phrased questions. I'm more inclined to think that the MDP is running off of a very scientific method called "gut instinct." No wonder we can't win.

Despite all this, we should stand up for our values, and we should do so eloquently.

10:25 PM  

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