Roundup: Surprise! California Is Liberal!

Robin Marty

California's views on abortion have been unchanged in the last two decades, as a new poll confirms.  Does that mean Fiorina's Senate challenge is doomed?

In another reaffirmation of the generally liberal tendencies of many California residents, a recent poll shows that a majority of voters in the state support a woman’s right to choose.

From the Orange County Register:

Seven in 10 Californians  continue to support the right of women to get a legal abortion and endorse the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision, Roe v. Wade, which said women have a constitutional right to an abortion, according to a new Field Poll released Wednesday.

These findings cut across all population segments and political ideology and have remained constant for more than 20 years of Field’s polling on the issue.

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Among Democrats, 80 percent favor either making no change to abortion rights in the state or making it easier for women to obtain a legal abortion. Support drops among Republican respondents but is still a majority at 54 percent. Seventy-five percent of those not affiliated with either party support such rights.

The only group that said it opposed abortion rights and want to make it more difficult to get the procedure are those identifying themselves as strong conservative.

Normally, such news would pretty much cinch the reelection of California senator Barbara Boxer over her anti-choice Republican opponent, Carly Fiorina.  But the media is cautioning people not to jump to conclusions.  George Skelton of the Los Angeles Times warns:

The last “pro-life” candidate to win a top-of-the-ticket race in California was the first George Bush in 1988. And that’s only because he had been local hero Ronald Reagan‘s vice president.

But this, of course, is not a normal election year. Voters either are struggling financially or are worried they soon could be. California unemployment is hanging above 12%.

It’s possible that stands on so-called social issues, even abortion, will not provide the litmus tests for voters that they did in Boxer’s past reelection snoozers.

So the real question is, do the anti-choice conservatives seem nervous?  There definitely is some spin happening, if Lifenews is any indicator:

Politics Daily conservative opinion columnist Matt Lewis focused on the California race and abortion in a column today.

“Recent polling suggests it’s a real possibility that California Sen. Barbara Boxer might lose to Carly Fiorina in November,” he writes. “A Boxer loss in a “safe” Democratic state like California would be a major symbolic loss for Democrats. It also would have major policy implications for the liberal agenda, including the always-with-us, hot-button issue of abortion.”

Ultimately, Lewis notes “while the economy remains the No. 1 issue in the campaign, the abortion debate cannot be overlooked as it pertains to this race.”

His column includes quotes from players on both sides of the abortion debate, including this writer, who point out how a Boxer defeat would be a severe blow for the pro-abortion movement and a gain for pro-life advocates who want to show the public how advocating for women doesn’t necessarily mean promoting abortion.

Lewis says that, while Boxer has repeatedly referred to Fiorina’s pro-life views as “out of step” with Californians, “there is some evidence of awareness by Boxer’s campaign that Boxer may be too far to the left of even the California electorate.”

The election is less than four months away.

Mini Roundup: In another surprise! moment, the Susan B. Anthony List is endorsing more men.  At least this one is female, and she has a “pro-life feminine leadership.” 

July 21, 2010

Overhaul won’t fund abortion – Centre Daily Times

Poll: Californians back abortion rights – OCRegister

Pro-Life Women’s Group Endorses in Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota, Nevada  –

Abortions for soldiers at US military bases? – Christian Science Monitor

Banning Abortions in High Risk Pools, Obama Administration Succumbs to Hyde – Campus Progress

California Poll Shows Voters Still Pro-Abortion, Could Impact Senate Race –

Pro-Abortion Groups Protesting Freedom Rides – Christian News Wire

Nixon is right to allow abortion law – Columbia Daily Tribune

Salon Writer Wants More Abortion on TV – NewsBusters

Bus driver claims discrimination based on abortion views – KVUE

GOP Lawmaker Blasts White House for $23M Spent on Kenya Constitution Vote – FOXNews

Fiorina would ordinarily be a long shot in California – Los Angeles Times

HBO Documentary “12th & Delaware”: Abortion Policy at a Crossroads – Politics Daily

Conservatives Exploiting Health Care to Deprive Poor Women of Access to Abortion – AlterNet

Republicans push-polled around – Topeka Capital Journal

Family Planning Can Help Reduce Unsafe Abortions – Deputy Medical Director – Peace FM Online

Gov. Chris Christie should sign the bill restoring funding for family planning –

New Jersey Governor Christie Pressured to Sign Bill for Planned Parenthood $ –

Uzbek women accuse state of mass sterilisations – Daily Times

NJ Gov. Christie says $10.5B budget deficit projection is ‘completely fake’ –

Barack Obama ‘hurt’ by global Aids funding criticism – The Guardian

HIV Rate Doubles For Middle-Aged British – Peace FM Online

More than 21000 children in Ghana are HIV positive – Koomson – GhanaWeb

Tutu ‘saddened’ by Obama’s decision to cut HIV/AIDS spending – Episcopal-Life

AIDS Monumental Breakthrough — Or Is It? – Huffington Post

Vaginal Delivery May Be OK After C-Section  – U.S. News & World Report

The Cancer-Causing Sex Virus – Forbes

Obese women ‘should slim before conceiving’ – The Guardian

New Study Finds HPV Vaccine Protects Against Genital Warts  – U.S. News & World Report

Candidates decry tactics – Topeka Capital Journal

Pumping $23 million into measure advancing abortion, Islamic law –

July 22, 2010

Abortion still a hot topic in politics –

Who cares what the Church teaches? – California Catholic Daily

Another abortion clinic caught on camera – OneNewsNow

Southworth recall fails – Juneau County Star-Times

Women must travel for care after clinic closure – San Francisco Examiner

More schools offer morning-after pill – The Lowestoft Journal

Is your family planning up to God, you, or your doctor’s God?  – USA Today

AIDS stigma drives HIV in India – Times of India

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Reproductive rights are a public health issue. That's a fact.

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