Saturday, September 20, 2008

Abortion a Key Issue in Battleground States, Gives McCain Advantage on Obama

Washington, DC ( -- To hear the political pundits, the issue of abortion is completely off the radar screen for most voters and its importance pales in comparison to other issues. That's not so, especially in three key presidential battleground states, according to a new Marist poll. A new Marist College poll of voters in Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania finds abortion the second, fourth and fifth most important issue, respectively, for voters in what observers say are three of the most important states. Ohio voters named "social issues like abortion" as the second most important issue (tied with national security) with 11 percent of voters saying so. Some 18 percent of McCain supporters named abortion (third highest) while seven percent of Obama voters did (tied for fourth). Abortion ranked higher than health care, Iraq, education, taxes, environment, illegal immigration and undecided. Because more of the voters making a presidential decision based on abortion cite McCain as their preference, it appears abortion gives McCain an 11 percent advantage over Obama. In Michigan, Marist found abortion to be the fourth most important issue (for 8 percent of voters) with 13 percent of McCain backers (third highest) and 4 percent of Obama supporters saying so (fifth). That appears to give McCain a 9 percent advantage among abortion-minded voters. In Pennsylvania, abortion came in fifth with 8 percent saying it is important. That breaks down to 17 percent of McCain backers citing abortion and just two percent of Obama backers. Full story at