Gallup has just released it annual survey on the abortion question. This year 47% of Americans said they considered themselves pro-choice, and 46% pro-life:

Gallup 2014 abortion poll

In 1995, 56% of the public considered themselves pro-choice and only 33% pro-life. But the lines slowly drew closer until 2009, when for the first time a majority of Americans (51%) said they were pro-life. Since then, six of 10 Gallup polls have come down on the pro-life side. One poll showed a tie.

How various demographics shook out:

Gallup Americans' position on abortion

This poll also found 50% of Americans think abortion should be legal “only under certain circumstances.” Added to the hardline pro-life pro-life position, that amounts to 71% who think abortion should be restricted or outlawed, numbers somewhat close to the recent Politico poll, which found 80% of Americans want abortion restricted.


On the importance of a political candidate’s position on abortion, Gallup wrote:

The abortion issue seemingly has been sidelined over the past several election cycles as a series of weighty issues – including the Iraq War, the economy, and healthcare reform – have dominated political debate. It is thus remarkable that the percentage of voters saying a candidate’s position on abortion is paramount to their vote has not only remained constant, but has also increased slightly.

Gallup poll - impact of abortion issue on vote for major offices 2014

Finally, the Gallup poll found a candidate’s pro-life position held more sway with Americans than his or her pro-abortion position.

Gallup poll - impact of abortion issue on vote, by position on abortion

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