Not only does this strategy expose the Democratic Party’s reluctance to talk about jobs and the American economy—which continues to struggle through the worst recovery in American history—but it also raises questions as to which party is actually more out of touch with public opinion on social issues.
Mainstream media outlets have intensely scrutinized, and in many cases distorted, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan’s positions on abortion. President Obama’s position on the issue has received far less attention—but is arguably more “extreme” in relation to the views of the American public.
A May 2012 Gallup poll found that 50 percent of Americans identified as “pro-life,” compared to 41 percent who identified as “pro-choice.” The same poll found that 72 percent believe abortion should be either illegal in all cases (20 percent) or legal “only under certain circumstances (52 percent), compared with just 25 percent who said abortion should be legal “under any circumstances.”
The Romney-Ryan position on abortion—allowing exceptions in the case of rape, incest, and when a mother’s life is in danger—fits squarely within the mainstream of public opinion. Obama’s position, and that of the Democratic Party, is arguably far more extreme.
Throughout his political career, Obama has consistently opposed efforts to place even minor restrictions on abortion.
During his first campaign for president, Obama promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA), a bill that would, in the words of the National Organization for Women, “sweep away hundreds of anti-abortion laws.”
As a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2003, Obama indicated his support for abortion under any circumstances, even those performed during the third trimester of pregnancy.
An overwhelming majority of Americans disagree with this position, including 79 percent of those identifying as “pro-choice,”
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