A new Rasmussen Poll claims that 54 percent of Americans describe themselves as pro-choice and only 38 percent say they are pro-life.
Given the result of the pollsters in the last election, especially Rasmussen, we have to wonder how accurate the poll is. Consider the list of best and worst election pollsters. Note where Rasmussen is located:
- Investor’s Business Daily wins the most accurate polling data for 2012
- Google – came in a close second
- The Mellman Group, led by Mark Mellman, shined again this year in third place
- RAND Corp., a non-profit research group, came in fourth.
- CNN finished out the top 5
The Worst Pollsters in 2012 were Rasmussen, American Research, Mason-Dixon, with Gallup bringing up the rear.
I’ve been following polls on abortion for a long time, and I can tell you that the way a question is asked is all important. Here are the questions that were asked in the Rasmussen poll:
- In terms of how you will vote in the next Congressional election, how important is the issue of abortion?
- Generally speaking, on the issue of abortion, do you consider yourself pro-choice or pro-life?
- In the United States, is it too easy or too hard for anyone to get an abortion?
- Is abortion morally wrong most of the time or morally acceptable most of the time
- Some states require a waiting period before a woman gets an abortion. Should there be a waiting period before a woman can get an abortion?
Notice that there is no definition of what’s being aborted? The questions assume that people know what goes on when a preborn baby is aborted.
Here are the questions I would ask:
- Do you believe that a woman has the legal right to kill her preborn baby?
- If you believe a woman has a right to kill her preborn baby, at what point in her pregnancy do you believe it would be morally wrong for here to do it?
- If you do believe that at a certain point it is morally wrong for a woman to kill her preborn baby, what about one second before that point?
- If you do believe that one second before the point that you say it is morally right for a woman to kill her preborn baby, what is the difference in that one second?1
It’s not what question is asked; it’s how a question is asked.
- A woman in Athens, Georgia, was charged with murder when she “‘did unlawfully and with malice aforethought cause the death of Baby Norwood … by cutting the throat of the infant and stabbing it in the abdomen almost immediately after it was born.’ Following the infant’s death the morning of Nov. 1, police charged the 21-year-old mother with malice murder, felony murder and aggravated assault.” Would she had been charged with murder if she had killed the baby while the baby was still in her womb? [↩]