Last week’s Gallup poll showing 51% of Americans calling themselves pro-life has gotten a good bit of attention. Even for those of us heartened by such news, the poll seems a little peculiar, since it suggests a sharp increase in the proportion of our fellow citizens willing to apply that label to themselves in just the past year or so, and the reasons for that aren’t clear.
A Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released yesterday seems to suggest exactly the same pattern, with almost the same results (see question 57 here). After asking about a variety of foreign and domestic issues, the poll asks this question:
On the issue of abortion, would you say you are more pro-life or more pro-choice?
51% of independent voters said pro-life (as did 69% of Republicans and 34% of Democrats). As with the Gallup numbers, this suggests an unusual recent spike in pro-life sentiment: the numbers were essentially reversed when Opinion Dynamics asked the same question just 18 months ago.
Can’t say I know what to make of it, but there you are.