There's a small percentage of listeners who email me every time I bring up abortion on the show. They rail on me for talking about it and are convinced it's killing the conservative movement. To them, and all who read political tea leaves, this survey is telling. At one point during the 2012 presidential campaign at least one poll showed pro-choice had again topped pro-life. It would be interesting to drill down and see what impact Kermit Gosnell has had on public opinion on abortion.
And two things are very telling here. As recently as twenty years ago pro-choice held a twenty point lead. And most Americans think their fellow Americans are pro-choice. As The Weekly Standard argues, that's likely a product of media bias on the issue. But what has caused the shift? Abortion and gay marriage have been seen as twin social issues; yet America seems to be going in separate directions on them. There is no question gay marriage is increasingly popular while America is growing increasingly anti-abortion. Why?
I believe technology is a big part of the answer. Sophisticated imaging today makes it quite laughable to suggest a woman is carrying "a clump of tissue." This creates a cognitive dissonance with the love fest coverage Texas State Senator Wendy Davis' brave efforts to keep killing viable babies legal. And as WS points out, this complicates the issue for those right of center who believe Republicans should let go of social issues.