Abortion is always an issue
Writing in the New Yorker Jeffrey Toobin asserts but does not prove that Mitt Romney and the Republicans have an “aborton problem.” That argument is not terribly original as it’s repeated every four years and then exit polls invariably show that in most battleground states that Republicans generally get a small bump in support because of their pro-life position. What is interesting in the column — the only interesting thing in the column – is the conclusion:
Abortion has been a flashpoint of American politics for so long that it can be wearying to think about it. There is always a temptation to think that it will, somehow, fade away as an issue. But it doesn’t and it hasn’t. And, in 2012, abortion remains—more than ever, in fact—the biggest and clearest difference between Republicans and Democrats.
Many people seem baffled that four decades after Roe, the abortion debate remains. Perhaps the reason the issue continues to resonate is because abortion isn’t like other issues. Because it is literally a matter of life and death. Because both sides see it as a vitally important rights issue; in one case as the right of the unborn to live and on the other the right of a woman to do whatever she wants with her body. Those are crucial issues not easily settled by compromise. And because of the literal life and death stakes, the pro-life side is not going away simply because they haven’t won (yet).
Also, Toobin should look at the latest Gallup poll on abortion, which shows the Democratic Party more divided on abortion than the Republicans, perhaps indicating an abortion problem for Barack Obama and the Democrats. In recent years, the two parties have been divided on most issues, not just abortion, but among partisan voters, there seems to be less division than there used to be.