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Tuesday, December 06, 2005

I Play With Polls

The title has nothing to do with my sexuality, and a lot to do with numbers.

My last post had the desired effect, it got the question I was looking for. Which was how could I possibly say "the majority would like abortion banned, or made legal in limited circumstances." when (my questioner stated) "every poll I've seen says the majority are pro-choice"

Polls are great tools, if they are used right, and useless if used wrong. In the case of polls on abortion, the 'pro-choice' lobby hasn't always been intellectually honest in the numbers.

In fact, they usually manipulate them grossly to try and make their point stick. What they like to do is use any answer for any legal abortion, regardless of limits, as a "pro-choice" answer, which really isn't true.

The 2005 Gallup/CNN/USA Today Poll, which has been asking about abortion in four ways points this out. They asked, in May, June and November, the following questions (with November answers)

Should Abortion be "Legal under any circumstances" ---- - ---- -26%
Should Abortion be "Legal under most circumstances" - - - - - - 16%
Should Abortion be "Legal only under a few circumstances" ---- - 39%
Should Abortion be "Illegal in all circumstances"---- - ---- ----- - 16%
The remaining 3% had no opinion or didn't respond.

Now, if I'm standing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, testifying on behalf of a pro-choice group, can I say "81% of American's favor abortion"? Sure, but is it really what those numbers say? Only if you want to count people who want abortion in only a few circumstances (rape, incest, mothers life) to be counted as pro-choice.

In reality, 55% in this poll that want abortion limited or banned, which last time I checked, was the majority. I could even go so far as to say 71%, since there is a group who only wants it legal in "most" cases, meaning there must be some restriction they would like to see. But that would be intellectually dishonest on my part.


Blogger shoprat said...

As one of the 39%, I am frustrated when I am called pro-choice because I don't believe a woman should carry a baby that is going to kill her or a 10 year old girl in an unfortunate situation should be required to give birth.

Very few pro-life people are absolutists on it (though I know a couple) but many pro-choicers are absolutists.

1:46 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

We're on the same page with that. Rape, incest, mothers life are one thing, but "I'm too lazy to use ____ " birth control, or "it's not a good time for a kid" are too me not good excuses.

If I have to be grouped, I'd like to be in the "pro-common sense" group, since it doesn't exist, don't pidgeon hole me.

5:13 PM  

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