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Could abortion cost Obama the election?

Polls show the president to be out of touch with the American public

By on Friday, 14 September 2012

Obama 2012

LifeSiteNews reports that Carl Anderson, head of the US Knights of Columbus, thinks that the Democrats’ strategy, making “unrestricted access to abortion a key component “to the re-election of President Barack Obama, will have an adverse effect on his chances. Anderson says that “On November 7, we may well look back at [the Democratic National Convention] and see that this was the week that President Obama lost the presidency – because of the abortion issue.”

It seems that a Knights of Columbus/Marist poll this year shows a majority of Americans disagreeing with Obama’s views on abortion: while 12 per cent supported him, 88 per cent opted for significant restrictions to the current law. Anderson surmises that if Obama falls out of favour with Catholics, it will be unlikely that he can win the presidency; no president in recent years has won without backing from the Catholic majority.

Michael Voris of disagrees with Anderson’s view. In his latest broadcast, “Catholics for Obama”, Voris lambasts the “too many Catholics” who came out in support of Obama at the Democratic Convention. “Parading their phoney Catholicism over millions”, he asks: “Why don’t the [US] bishops censor them?” His answer is that many of the bishops, very focused on issues of social justice, are themselves largely aligned with the policies of the Democratic Party. Influential Catholic families like the Kennedys, and politicians like Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi, simply reflect the liberal views of US Catholics at large. It is unlikely that Obama is going to “fall out of favour” with this segment of the electorate.

Further to this, LifeSiteNews, in a report earlier this week, provides a sinister detail which might just help Obama return to the White House: Planned Parenthood, the country’s largest abortion provider, has dedicated $3.2 million to air a new television commercial in the swing states of Ohio and Virginia. Called “Turn Back the Clock”, it attacks Mitt Romney’s support for overturning the abortion law and defunding Planned Parenthood. $1.85 million of ads will target northern Virginia; another £1.35 million will focus on Ohio. Polls show Obama and Romney engaged in a statistical dead heat in Virginia and the Democrats with a 2.2% lead in Ohio. No Republican has ever won the presidency without carrying Ohio. Added to this the slight advantage that an incumbent has over his rival and we are likely to see Obama in the White House for a further four years.

If I were an American, I would vote for Romney. This is not because his ethical position fills me with much hope – in seeking election he has conveniently changed his attitude towards abortion, compared to his views in the past – but that the prospect of Obama, with his cynical anti-life and anti-marriage agenda, fills me with more gloom. Yet Obama still has a “charisma” that Romney totally lacks; Thomas Fleming writes on his blog that the Catholic Paul Ryan, Romney’s choice for vice –president, is “smart, energetic and tough” and that “most American conservatives would far rather have Ryan than Romney as their political leader.”

At least in America there is a real choice between the two parties. In the UK there is no Party that reflects conservative values anymore; indeed, the phrase “conservative values” has become politically meaningless; in trying to practise them you might end up in the courts. At the next general election this may come back to haunt David Cameron.

  • Cestius

    I agree.  I’m sure many Catholics would agree with Obama on a lot of issues, but by making abortion a totem of his policies, he is in danger of throwing away many votes and not getting his way on other issues.  But his insistence on abortion funding nearly sank his Obamacare needlessly – clearly he has learned nothing.

  • Pcl3690

    Obama, shrewd as he is, wants to ‘convert’ all the Christians by convincing them that offering their children to Satan as sacrifices, even from the womb by abortion, to gay and same-sex marriages and destruction of family values. Will the Americans in general, and the Christians in particular, be intelligent enough to realize this shrewdness in destroying humanity’s moral values? Forego God and you go with dog…go with God, and even a ‘dog’ can become a son of God.

  • Jeannine

    Not to lessen the horror of abortion, Mr Obama will lose IMO, because of the bad national economy. The true average American unemployment rate is not far below 20%.The middle class is not thinking about abortion but how to pay the bills. The poor are poorer & are trying to figure out how to feed their kids. Abortion is just a peripheral issue for this election.

    To paraphrase Bill Clinton’s poitical advisor, James Carville, “It’s the economy, stupid.” That statement has resurfaced at every major election cycle & continues to remain revelant to this day. (I like Carville because he is very colorful & pragmatic even though I do not agree with his politics.)

  • ScotsCatholic

    I completely agree. The US does at least have a mainstream choice with regard to abortion. Sadly, in the UK, all major political parties are in favour of abortion. Only the Christian Party stand up for the rights of children in the womb. This is an issue that must remain at the very forefront of our minds and one where we must make our voices heard. Speak up for the children; our future!

  • Aurora 7

    Charisma does not a leader make, it’s a shallow trait that history has revealed time and again leading to downfall and nations to ruin.

  • Oconnord

    More catholics support Obama than Romney:

    “A poll was commissioned by The Catholic Association, and it showed Obama getting 49 percent of Catholics overall, including those of Hispanic descent. Only 41 percent support Romney, while 10 percent are undecided.

    The poll of 2,629 likely Catholic voters, an unusually large sample, showed that 46.5 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics support Obama, while 45.6 percent support Romney.

    Even if Romney wins every undecided non-Hispanic Catholic vote, he would only narrowly best Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s 52 percent share during his razor-thin victory in 2000. Bush won support from 56 percent of non-Hispanic Catholics during his comfortable win in 2004.”

  • Oconnord
  • Sean

    The problem is Obama will get voted into the presidency because of the ‘Catholic vote.’ Evangelical Christians wouldn’t touch Obama with a barge pole because they read there Bibles and know abortion is wrong. Certain catholics seems to be able to practice Catholicism and vote Obama without seeing a contradiction. What strange times we live in.

  • Liam Ronan

    “Could abortion cost Obama the election?” Short, but brutally frank answer: No.

  • Oconnord

    Perhaps catholics in the U.S. are wise enough to see that the GOP may be anti-abortion, but it is not pro-life or pro-women. They may not agree with Obama on abortion but they know that voting for Romney would be far more detrimental to women and children’s health.

    A new report from the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee states:

    “House Republicans have voted repeatedly for legislation that would be harmful to women’s health and women’s rights,”…

    The 55 votes have targeted women in a multiple ways:  17 votes have allowed health insurance companies to discriminate against women; 11 votes have cut women’s access to preventive care; 10 votes have restricted or rolled back abortion rights or access to legal abortion; 7 votes have cut funding for key nutritional votes for women; 3 votes have blocked access to reproductive and maternal care services; 3 votes have undermined the Medicare and Medicaid programs, and 14 votes have weakened environmental laws that protect pregnant women from toxic chemicals.  The Republican budget drafted by Rep. Ryan further weakens many existing programs and institutions that support and protect women.”  

  • Rizzo the Bear

    In answer to the headline’s question, I say this:

    I sincerely hope so.

    It is sickening to think that other worthier, intelligent, ethically minded and stonger black Americans could not/did not make their mark in the Oval Office before Obama – and seek to improve the lives of fellow Americans by thinking logically about how they can save the economy and rebuild it and stop the rot in the world’s economies! Instead, Obama would rather spend money left, right and centre on how best they can destroy the family unit, the practise of people’s faith and values and – most damning of all, murder the most vulnerable US citizens in the womb. Talk about killing off America’s future! Unpatriotic and Un-American! As well as that, send money to other countries – particularly poor ones - to encourage the same evil!

    More and more private companies are taking the Obama Administration to the highest court in the land over his evil ‘Obamacare’, which insists that they cover abortion, contraception and other heinous things in their ‘health insurance’ – no opt-outs for Roman Catholics or any other faith opposed to abortion etc.

    Let us pray to the Immaculate Conception, patron of the USA, that American Roman Catholics will stop being blinded by Obama’s ‘charm’ and vote him out.

  • americanusnovus

     Its not the Federal Government’s (especially some hokey, useless, overfunded, bureaucratic department’s) prerogative to deal with these issues anyway .  According to the Constitution, the states should be the ones organizing and funding aid programs, medical care, and welfare, not to mention making the final call on issues of moral values.

    I’m all for women’s rights; just not “rights” as defined by a Federal Congress: i.e. unrestricted access to contraceptives, abortion, and other “healthy” measures.  These 55 rights are not “rights” to begin with.  Define your terms.  The anti-women/health votes that you are talking about are not beneficial to society as a whole.  They are only beneficial to a number of politicians with various agendas, such  as seeking the votes of an American people that have been taught that their individual good/pleasure is the greatest good.  

    Speaking in terms of a Common Good for the American nation, the GOP policies do more good than harm.  The assumed goal of the GOP is not to eliminate abortion (impossible in this political climate), but to limit them and undermine the selfish, narrow-minded position that attempts to justify the destruction of innocents lives for the sake of what ultimately boils down to convenience and pleasure.  Many Catholics in the U.S. are fed up with the indecisiveness of some bishops and recognize (without unjust judgement) that their bishops are not quite fully inline with Church social and moral doctrine.  These policies may appear beneficial at first glance, but they are detrimental to the foundational principles of America, the Constitution, and classical political philosophy. 

    Nothing prevents individual states from legislating concerning matters of health and rights.  Ryan’s budget is tough love: he takes the Fed out of the picture and assumes that the State and community will pick up the slack.  If they don’t, its on them, b/c it was their duty to begin with.  Some will have to suffer, but in the end it will be better for America, because Washington governing every breathe of the nation was never in the equation.

  • Yankee

    As an American I predict Obama will lose simply because our economy is in shambles. This despite the ridiculous Marxist influence on our Bishops that makes them think that Catholicism is about the poor. The church is not about helping the poor, the church is about salvation of souls. The best way to help the poor is to have a healthy economy that gives them jobs, not through Marxist social welfare programs. Those so called  Catholics that support Obama are not really Catholics as they believe more in Marxism than in the true aspects of their faith. Obama will lose because his Marxist influenced policies never produced jobs nor improved the economy.

  • teigitur

    In answer to your question…….I certainly hope so, though no fan of Romney he is the lesser of two evils.

  • theroadmaster

    I think that Catholic apologist Michael Voris has made a very pertinent point with respect to the Catholic “swing” vote.  In general, U.S Catholics are on the left side of the spectrum in relation to social justice, sexual ethics and right-to-life issues, and the recent policy moves at the recent Democrat conference to solidify party support for unrestricted access to abortion and contraception, may not damage Obama’s electoral chances too much.   The choice of Paul Ryan as the GOP Vice-Presidential candidate, will obviously capture for Romney a significant percentage of people who are faithful to their religious principles.  But will this appeal draw in enough people, who are unaffiliated to any religious outlook/moderately religious and are middle of the road in their political leanings ?   I sincerely hope that those on the Republican ticket can persuade enough voters in the key “swing” states to come over to their camp, in the electoral showdown next November.   The economy still seems to the no.1 concern in the minds of the electorate and if the current negative economic trends continues in the US, they could dramatically effect the outcome of the battle for the Presidency.

     I could be wrong, but Romney seems to not to be a  doctrinaire believer in “pro-life” causes by instinct and rather has relied on public opinion and political developments to shape his position on them.  Despite this, and with the very strong Catholic Faith background of his Vice-Presidential candidate, he would make a welcome change from the depressingly predictable anti-life stance of the incumbent administration.

  • Papa Sisto

    Francis, I am afraid I disagree. 

    Abortion will not cost Obama the election for two reasons.  Firstly, most Americans do not share your strong feelings on the topic – they may agree with you in principle, but ultimately they will vote for the candidate that puts a meal on their table and a wage in their bank account.  Polling consistently shows that the economy is still the most important issue for Americans.  Also, severe restrictions to the current law are not Obama’s decision.  Roe vs Wade established that a person has a right to abortion until viability, which the court set around 24-28 weeks in.  States still have the right to pass restrictive legislation on abortion – many have.  For instance, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and the Dakotas have “trigger laws” criminalizing abortion to come into effect if or when RvW is repealed.  The right to abortion is, for all intents and purposes now a constitutional right, and can only cease to be so with another Supreme Court decision (and, notably, several highly conservative supreme courts have failed to repeal it).  

    Furthermore, red conservative states like Mississippi require the notification and consent of both parents in the case of teens.  Texas and others have a mandatory 24 hour waiting period and counselling etc.  The federal government would find it difficult to pass any legislation, pro-or-anti-choice, that affected this right without a probably successful supreme court challenge.  Coupled with the general focus on economic issues, most Texans or Mississippians are content to restrict access in their states, and let the liberals do as they please in their states.  

    Finally, I am wary of any poll from a group such as the Knights of Columbus, and especially this one.  I tend to find that polling from interest groups magically tends to favor their own positions.  The Public Religion Research Institute, which I would argue is more reliable, has this from their most recent poll:

    Identifying as pro-choice: 49%
    Identifying as pro-life: 45%
    Mixed/Don’y care: 3%
    Don’t know what term means: 2%
    No opinion:2%

    Abortion is an issue in the US, but hardly a deal breaker – indeed, the Romney/Ryan ticket’s own views on social policy are at least equally (I would argue more) likely to turn away swing voters, especially given the fallout from the “legitimate rape” scandal and Ryan’s generally hardline views on the subject, which Romney seems to endorse.

  • Papa Sisto

    All the mainstream parties are in favor of abortion because the country has already had a national debate about it, which traditionalists lost.  Losing an argument is not the same as losing the right to argue.  Catholics failed to engage the public opinion and get involved in the same way that liberals and pro-choicers have.  The main parties are pro-abortion because the public is.  If you want to change the way the politicians think, change the way the electorate does.  Traditionalists lost in the 60s and 70s.  If they need a rematch, it is their duty to make their voices heard.

  • Pcl3690

    Unfortunately, the key issue is not discussed. When a hardened criminal like Osama Bin Laden is killed, most of the world gets a relief. When an innocent person is killed, the world weeps for that person. If that is so, the most heinous crime today must be the killing of the most innocent and the most helpless, and what should be that most heinous crime other than abortion, killing of the most innocent and defenseless children in wombs, sacrificing the gift of God to Satan. The go-ahead nod for all immoralities begins there. So, the question is, not whether to vote for the person who gives you just food and job by sacrificing your children for 30 silver coins, and who is supported by the common man, supreme courts, etc. that do not care for morals or the soul, rather, the question is, if one should involve one’s conscience for that person, whoever he may be, whose entire trust is in the Lord Who alone blesses in abundance the whole nation that goes with His will. If the so-called efficient leader who was brought to power and in whom the nation placed its hope, failed in all areas despite his “you can” ideology, thus proving that without God ‘you just cannot’, remember, it could be the result of innocent blood crying from the earth and from the wombs, pleading for atonement…the call of the conscience… 
    Either you go with God, or go with the dogs… that’s a nation’s choice…your choice…

  • Gildaswiseman

    Every Catholic worth their salt should refuse to vote for Obama. What’s more any Catholic voting for this wicked man and his satanic policies, should be informed by their Bishops that a vote for Obama is an automatic self excommunication from the Catholic Church. 

  • Charles Martel

    Far too many American Catholics turn a blind eye to the ‘unspeakable crime’ (Vatican II) of abortion. How can anyone vote for a man who calls ‘evil good and good evil’? (Isaiah). Woe unto him, says the prophet, and woe to them that vote him in.

  • Jon Brownridge

    Although I am anti abortion I see this as only one issue among many. The American Democrats are far more people-oriented than the Republicans and I would have no hesitation in voting for President Obama. He has made it clear that on a personal level he is opposed to both abortion and same-sex marriage but he is not in office to promote his own personal agenda. He is the President of all Americans and he is the leader of his Party. The reality is that our Catholic values are not espoused by everyone. It serves no purpose to engage in petty name calling. Obama is not “anti life”, but he reluctantly goes along with a majority who believe personal choice prevails on this issue. We can disagree with him on that, but as Catholics we should be promoting a Party that cares about the poor, the disadvantaged, and the downtrodden, not a Party that caters to the super rich and powerful.

  • Patrick_Hadley

    The answer to the question “Could abortion cost Obama the election?” is pretty obvious.

    The latest opinion poll shows Obama’s support among Catholics to has surged since the summer.

    Having Cardinal Dolan against him has been a huge boost to Obama, including among Catholics.