No presidential candidate has run a campaign as aggressively supportive of abortion as the one Barack Obama did this year. The fact that he won — and by a bigger margin than any Republican has managed in more than 20 years — suggests that the politics surrounding the issue has changed, to the disadvantage of pro-lifers.
Abortion has never been a top voting issue for most people. Among those people who do vote on abortion, however, pro-lifers have outnumbered pro-choicers. In 1988, ABC’s exit poll found that 33 percent of voters had considered abortion a “very important” issue in making their decision, and they favored George H. W. Bush over Michael Dukakis by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent. The CBS exit poll that year found 7 percent of the voters saying that it was one of the issues that mattered most, and they had broken 65 percent to 33 percent for the pro-life Republican.