Poll shows increased support for CA abortion restrictions

by on October 2, 2008  •  In Elections, Reproductive rights

There's a sharp division within the ranks of anti-abortion advocates in this election cycle.  Pro-lifers in Colorado have succeeded in getting a radical the-fetus-is-a-human-being style initiative on that state's ballot, while in SD and California, the anti-choice measures are more strategic. In both those states, the approach is seemingly more incremental, but plenty scary.  (See earlier post on SD.) In California, the pragmatic strategy is doing well in pre-election polling.

San Diego Union Tribune

By John Marelius

A twice-defeated initiative requiring parental notification before an unmarried minor can get an abortion appears to have a better chance of passing this year, according to a new Field Poll.

Nearly half of the voters considered likely to cast ballots in the Nov. 4 election – 49 percent – say they intend to vote yes on Proposition 4, compared with 41 percent who say they plan to vote no. The remaining 10 percent are undecided.

Field Poll – PROPOSITION 4

Where voters stand on the initiative requiring parental notification before an unmarried minor can get an abortion.

YES 49%

NO 41%

Proposition 4 is similar to Proposition 73, which was defeated 53 percent to 47 percent in the November 2005 special election; and to Proposition 85, which lost 54 percent to 46 percent in the 2006 general election.

In September 2005, the Field Poll showed the parental notification measure dead even at 45 percent for each side. By late October, support had fallen to 41 percent, with 49 percent opposed. In October 2006, the Field Poll showed the issue virtually even at 44 percent in favor and 45 percent against.

Field Poll director Mark DiCamillo said he believes the current version is running stronger because Latinos overwhelmingly favor it and are expected to vote in higher-than-usual numbers in November.

“If you look at the demographic subgroups and you remind yourself that this is a presidential election, one of the biggest subgroups that support Proposition 4 (is) Latinos,” DiCamillo said. “Latino turnout is expected to be fairly high in a presidential election, certainly higher than two years ago in a state election and three years ago in a special (election).”

Broken down by ethnic groups, Proposition 4 enjoys by far the strongest support among Latinos, 62 percent to 31 percent. Asian-Americans favor it 48 percent to 32 percent, and whites back it 47 percent to 43 percent. Only black voters oppose it, by a margin of 52 percent to 32 percent.

Among religious groups, Catholics are the strongest supporters, 63 percent to 26 percent, followed by Protestants, 58 percent to 33 percent. Voters of other religions are opposed 46 percent to 41 percent, and those with no religious preference oppose it 73 percent to 15 percent.

Vince Hall, spokesman for the No on Prop. 4 campaign, said ballot propositions tend to lose support as a campaign wears on….

Proponents contend that Proposition 4 is doing better than the two previous versions because it was drafted to eliminate one of the opponents' strongest arguments – that girls from abusive families would be subjecting themselves to harm if required to notify a parent or guardian.

The proposal was revised to allow a girl to notify another adult family member if her physician reported suspected or known child abuse by a parent…

The Field Poll is based on telephone interviews with a random sample of 830 likely California voters conducted Sept 5-14. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.


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