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Pro-Life Stance on the Rise in Minnesota, Upper Midwest

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A Gallup Poll released last Friday made headlines for its finding that a majority of Americans now identify themselves as “pro-life” as opposed to “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion, marking the first time that “pro-life” has been in the majority over the course of the last 15 years Gallup has polled the issue in their annual survey on values and beliefs.

While more Minnesotans continue to identify themselves as pro-choice, there has also been a modest increase in the percentage of Gopher State residents who identify themselves as pro-life in recent years.

A Smart Politics analysis of 48 polls conducted by SurveyUSA in Minnesota since 2005 finds a gradual increase in the yearly aggregate percentage of Gopher State residents identifying as pro-life: from 41.1 percent in 2005, to 41.6 percent in 2006, to 41.8 percent in 2007, to 42.6 percent in 2008, to 46.0 percent in the one poll conducted by SurveyUSA on this question in 2009.

Those Minnesotans self-identifying as pro-choice have outnumbered those identifying themselves as pro-life in each of the 48 polls, including the half-dozen of which that polled likely voters (the remaining 42 polls were those conducted of adult residents).

This gradual momentum towards the pro-life position has also been demonstrated, and to a greater extent, in the neighboring states of Iowa and Wisconsin.

In a Smart Politics analysis of 46 SurveyUSA polls conducted in Wisconsin, aggregated yearly, the percentage of Badger State residents identifying as pro-life has increased from 40.9 percent in 2005, to 41.8 percent in 2006, to 42.1 percent in 2007, to 44.1 percent in 2008, to 45.0 percent in 2009.

Those Wisconsinites identifying themselves as pro-choice have outnumbered those self-identifying as pro-life in all but one of these 46 polls (November 2008).

The greatest shift in the region, however, has occurred in the State of Iowa. A Smart Politics analysis of 46 SurveyUSA polls conducted in the Hawkeye State, aggregated yearly, finds the percentage of Iowa residents identifying as pro-life has risen from 42.2 percent in 2005, to 42.8 percent in 2006, to 43.0 percent in 2007, to 44.6 percent in 2008, to 48.0 percent in 2009. Those self-identifying as pro-choice outnumbered those identifying as pro-life in every poll except one (January 2009).

It is certainly true that the public’s view on abortion, like many policy areas, often lies in the gray area between two choices. For example, a July 2004 Humphrey Institute survey found just 23 percent of Minnesotans believed abortion should be legal under any circumstance and only 16 percent believed it should be illegal in all circumstances. The majority, 58 percent, believed it should be legal, but only under certain circumstances. Numbers were similar in Wisconsin (20 percent always legal, 26 percent always illegal, 52 percent legal but restricted) and Iowa (25 percent always legal, 19 percent always illegal, 54 percent legal but restricted).

Despite the limitations of the SurveyUSA polling question, which offers just the two response categories, the poll has been conducted with the same survey question across five years and nearly four dozen polls in each state, and the takeaway point is that the momentum is definitely with the pro-life movement.

Percentage of Upper Midwesterners Identifying as Pro-Life by State, 2005-2009

Year
Minnesota
Wisconsin
Iowa
Region
2009
46.0
45.0
48.0
46.3
2008
42.6
44.1
44.6
43.8
2007
41.8
42.1
43.0
42.3
2006
41.6
41.8
42.8
42.1
2005
41.1
40.9
42.4
41.5
Note: SurveyUSA polling data of 140 polls conducted in Minnesota (48), Wisconsin (46), and Iowa (46) compiled by Smart Politics.

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6 Comments


  • I would now be curious to know if the rate of teen pregnancies in the region has also gone up or down over recent years.

  • So more people want less dead babies. Huh.

  • > I would now be curious to know if the rate of teen pregnancies
    > in the region has also gone up or down over recent years.

    Minnesota has one of the lowest rates in the country - 41st among the states. Wisconsin is 40th and Iowa is 38th. For Minnesota info. see:

    http://blog.lib.umn.edu/cspg/smartpolitics/2009/01/how_to_save_minnesotas_us_hous.php

  • It is about time. It is good to finally hear some good news in terms of people seeing the light.

  • I am glad to see so many more people that realize that since 1973 "death by abortion" is a reality and I also hope people realize that America would not be in a "budget deficit had we not killed off the millions of taxpayers" by the law of the land ABORTION. What comes next remains to be seen since Obama signed the "Partial Birth Abortion into law as soon as he was sworn in as president. Where will we get our future taxpers from if we kill them off as we did in 1973 ??? And what do we have left now ? Disallusionment, deceit, and many more taxpayers gone.

  • Obama says, "USA have at the moment undergone just about a decade of battle. Wow stating the obvious?.alberta.

  • Leave a comment


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