California Residents’ Support for Abortion Rights Could Affect Presidential Election, Field Poll Finds
The "overwhelming support" for abortion rights among voters in California might have implications for the upcoming presidential election, according to the results of a Field Poll released Friday, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Simon, San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4). As part of a larger Field Poll, researchers from May 18 to 24 surveyed a group of 357 California voters about their views on abortion(Kaplan, San Jose Mercury News, 6/4). According to the poll, 71% of voters support abortion rights, while 22% are in favor of laws making it more difficult to obtain an abortion. In addition, 26% of respondents said they support efforts making abortion easier to obtain, and 45% said that no changes should be made to abortion regulations (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4). The findings have remained consistent over the past eight years, according to Field Poll, the Sacramento Bee reports (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 6/4). Relative to the presidential election, 87% of respondents who describe themselves as supporters of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry (Mass.) said they support expanded abortion rights, compared with 51% of those who said they support President Bush (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4).
Kerry currently "holds a strong advantage" among voters in the state, according to the Orange County Register. Mark DiCamillo, director of Field Poll, said that voters' opinions on abortion rights and other issues are "pretty well-established positions, and there aren't any big changes. But, it shows that there are some opportunities for the presidential candidates in California" (Wisckol, Orange County Register, 6/4). DiCamillo added, "Kerry could potentially use abortion as an issue to firm up his base and attract voters who might be undecided" (San Francisco Chronicle, 6/4). However, Bruce Cain of the University of California-Berkeley said that social issues such as abortion are likely to be less important to voters than economic and national security issues, the Mercury News reports (San Jose Mercury News, 6/4). The poll is available online. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the report.This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.