by Steven Ertelt
September 22, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) -- A new poll finds only a handful of women are turned off to voting for John McCain because of his running mate Sarah Palin's abortion views. The survey also finds women split on the McCain-Barack Obama contest and 23 percent of Hillary Clinton backers supporting McCain.
The press and political pundits make much of the supposed gender gap in each election, but the new Lifetime Network poll finds the Alaska governor is helping McCain run even with his pro-abortion rival.
In a dramatic reversal since late July, when the women's television network conducted its previous poll, McCain and Palin are now virtually tied with Obama and pro-abortion running mate Joe Biden.
Obama/Biden garnered 47 percent of the women's vote to McCain/Palin's 45% in the survey -- within the margin of error -- and another 7 percent are undecided.
The poll also looked at women's views on Governor Palin and found that a majority (52%) of women had a mostly positive view while 29% were mostly negative and 13 percent neutral.
Of the women who had negative views, 48 percent said it was because of the governor's position on the issues. Of that 48 percent, just 18 percent pointed to her pro-life position as the main position they opposed.
That means just 2.5 percent of all women surveyed in the poll indicated they disagree with Palin on the issues and say abortion is the reason why.
That's hardly representative of key pro-abortion groups like Planned Parenthood and NARAL, who say millions of women will oppose McCain and Palin when they learn the governor is pro-life.
In Lifetime's late July poll, Barack Obama handily beat John McCain 52% to 18% with 11% volunteering "neither" to the question of who understands women better. Just six weeks later, and with the addition of Sarah Palin to the Republican ticket, McCain/Palin has dramatically reversed those fortunes, now in a virtual tie with Obama/Biden, 44%-42%.
A majority of Senator Clinton primary supporters (57%) were upset that Obama did not pick her as his running mate, but most are not holding it against him. Nearly four in ten (38%) said that while they were upset, they will still support Obama.
Thirty-one percent of Clinton primary supporters said that they were not upset that Senator Clinton was not added to the Democratic ticket. Roughly a third (35%) of Clinton supporters said they'd be less likely to vote for McCain with Palin on the ticket, while nearly one in five (19%) said they'd be more likely to do so.
Twenty-three percent of Clinton primary voters now say they will pull the lever for McCain versus 18% when asked in July.
McCain/Palin edged out Obama/Biden by four percentage points, 47% to 43%, on which pair is better ready to lead the country.
Women also said Governor Palin is not getting a fair treatment in the media.
Women believe Senator Clinton has been treated more fairly than Governor Palin, with 56% saying coverage of Clinton was fair and 50% saying that coverage of Palin has been fair. Still, 40% maintained that Clinton had been treated unfairly, and 42% said the same about Palin.
Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, who is pro-life, and Democratic pollster Celinda Lake, who supports abortion, combined for the LifeTime poll.