The Corner

Abortion Polling, Ctd.

Andy: The results of polls asking whether voters consider themselves pro-life or pro-choice have been less stable than the results of polls asking them under what circumstances they think abortion should be legal. So it appears to be the case that a significant number of people keep the same views about abortion policy while considering themselves first closer to one side of the debate and then closer to the other. If abortion in the cases of rape and incest, or anti-abortion violence, is front and center in the national debate, they’ll sympathize more with the pro-choice side and be more willing to call themselves pro-choice. If partial-birth abortion is in the news, as it has been in the last few months, they will be more likely to consider themselves pro-life. It’s not surprising that the pro-life numbers have ticked up in recent months; it is surprising how much they seem to have gone up.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.