Strong support for Roe ruling

STRONG SUPPORT FOR ROE RULING…. A couple of polls last week on abortion rights surprised much of the political world, especially an odd Gallup poll showing “pro-life” surging past “pro-choice” — by a healthy margin — for the first time in recent history.

The polls had a few flaws. Ron Chusid points out a new CNN poll that asked the abortion question in a more salient, and politically relevant, way.

The 1973 Roe versus Wade decision established a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion, at least in the first three months of pregnancy. Would you like to see the Supreme Court completely overturn its Roe versus Wade decision, or not?

30% Yes, overturn
68% No, not overturn

Now, I realize the obvious danger of dismissing poll results I don’t like as “outliers” and embracing poll results I do like as “reliable.” That said, these new results from CNN certainly seem more in line with expectations and other Roe-related polls in recent years.

While it’s interesting that “pro-life” numbers have improved, at least in some surveys, there are inherent ambiguities. Many, for example, might say they’re personally “pro-life,” but don’t want to see the government mandate their beliefs on everyone else.

It’s more important, then, to see that Americans strongly prefer to see the Roe precedent remain in place.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.