This new Pew survey has a report on how attitudes about abortion might affect voting in both parties:
Abortion is not a top-tier issue among either Democratic or Republican voters. Only about four-in-ten Republicans and Republican leaning voters (43%), and slightly fewer Democrats (38%), say that abortion will be very important to their voting decisions.
I’m a little surprised at how few Republicans think the issue is important, and I won’t be surprised if those numbers change before the election. It’s also worth pointing out that those numbers, which are roughly equal for the two parties, mean very different things for the two sides. Democrats who say abortions will be “very important” are, I think it’s safe to assume, pretty likely to think we need a permissive abortion regime; Republicans are more likely to think we need a restrictive one (or to outlaw it all together). For Democrats, as we know, there’s no major primary contender that supports any serious restrictions on abortion, so the abortion issue isn’t likely to affect many votes. For Republicans, however, those numbers have the potential to be far more important as more than 40% start with a significant bias against Giuliani due to his abortion position.