California Voters Want Roberts To Share Their Views on Abortion, Poll Finds
About 40% of California voters think it is "very important" for Supreme Court chief justice nominee John Roberts to share their own views on abortion, according to a Field Poll released Monday, the Sacramento Bee reports. The telephone survey includes responses from 426 registered voters surveyed contacted from Aug. 19 to Aug. 29 (Hecht, Sacramento Bee, 9/13). The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
For the poll, respondents were told Roberts was nominated for the Supreme Court, but it did not mention his nomination for chief justice.
About 28% of respondents said it is "somewhat important" that Roberts' views on abortion are the same as their own, and 40% said it is "very important" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/13). According to the poll, 25% of respondents said it is "not important" that Roberts' views on abortion are the same as their own (Sacramento Bee, 9/13).
By comparison, a Field Poll conducted in July 2003 -- when there was not a vacancy on the Supreme Court -- found that 31% of voters considered it "somewhat important" that the next judge nominated to the Supreme Court share their views on abortion and 53% thought it was "very important" (San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/13).
The new poll also found that 45% of voters surveyed were satisfied with current abortion laws. In addition, 23% of respondents said they support laws that would make it easier for women to obtain abortions, while about 25% supported laws what would make it harder for women to obtain abortions.
About 58% of voters surveyed said it should be legal for a women to obtain an abortion during the first trimester of pregnancy, 28% said abortion during the second trimester of pregnancy should be legal and 16% said abortion during the third trimester should be legal. However, 73% of respondents said abortion during the third trimester should be allowed if the pregnancy is a danger to the woman's health.
Mark DiCamillo, director of Field Poll, said, "The state has long been a pro-choice state, and the current poll shows no significant change." He added, "But voters on both sides ... think it is very important that Roberts stake out a position similar to their own" (Sacramento Bee, 9/13).
The results of the poll are available online. Note: You must have Adobe Acrobat Reader to access the results.