Exit polls: Abortion as an election issue
November 6th, 2012
10:47 PM ET
10 years ago

Exit polls: Abortion as an election issue

(CNN) - Abortion became an issue in some of this year's U.S. Senate races as well as in the presidential race, exit polls show.

In Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Rep. Todd Akin said in a local news interview that women have biological ways to avoid pregnancy after a "legitimate rape." Tuesday's early exit polls show 51% of Missouri voters say they believe abortion should be legal all or most of the time. Of those voters, exit polls show 76% supporting Akin's opponent, Democratic Senator Claire McCaskill while 19% voted for Akin. Forty-seven percent of Missouri's voters say abortion should be illegal. Exit polls show Akin takes 67% of this group's votes while 27% of people who think abortion should be illegal supported Sen. McCaskill.

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The other state where abortion became a big controversy is Indiana, where Republican U.S. Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said during a debate question over abortion rights, that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape…it is something that God intended to happen." CNN projected Mourdock's opponent, Joe Donnelly, will defeat Mourdock for the U.S. Senate seat but Indiana voters' attitudes about abortion are unclear because they weren't on the exit poll questionnaire.

In some of the other swing states where voters were asked about abortion, 56% of Ohio's voters told exit pollsters abortion should be legal all or most of the time while 39% say it should be illegal.

Sixty-three percent of Virginia's voters say abortion should be legal all or most of the time while 33% say it should be illegal.

The split is even more lopsided in New Hampshire where 71% say abortion should be legal all or most of the time and 27% say it should be illegal.

Filed under: 2012 • Abortion • Exit Polls
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Abortion shouldn't be this big in someone's thinking about poltical candidates. One issue shouldn't be a make or break someone supporting a candidate. Looking at only one issue leads to questionable decisions.

    November 6, 2012 11:02 pm at 11:02 pm |
  2. Truth Squad

    big winner in this election is the liberal propaganda networks ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, AP et al.

    Making an issue out of one comment and making a national issue really helps get the vote out. Congrats to those in the media whose God is sex and abortion a sacrament.

    November 6, 2012 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  3. MarieMD

    Grow up you little fool.
    It's more than abortion issues. It's about individual rights regardless of the color of your skin, your sex preference, your sex as in women rights and just plain civil rights for everyone.

    November 6, 2012 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  4. nothing new here

    Women of this country – use birth control as much as possible.
    Take control of your own lives, which you should. The Religious extremists will step in and do it for you, if you all are not more diligent.
    Not fussing – but just saying 🙂

    November 7, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. cali girl

    A big message has been thrown out there tonite. No magically lady parts were not up for election.

    November 7, 2012 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  6. mike

    i really dont care if women can get abortions or not, the only thing that i do care is that the government should not subside the price for the abortion let them pay full price

    November 7, 2012 02:42 am at 2:42 am |
  7. geggyg

    @nothing new gere
    Most women do want to use contraceptives more of the time , but many repubs and religious groups , want to restrict that use,they want insurers and businesses to have the option of not providing contraception coverage , in most states doctors can refuse to provide prescriptions for contraceptions if its against their beliefs , and the same with pharmacists,So if a woman in a small town it can be difficult to access contraception , and women should see a doctor to be prescribed medical contraception (not condoms) to get a product that suits them and to monitor possible side effects

    November 7, 2012 03:08 am at 3:08 am |
  8. geggyg

    The fed govt doesnt subsidise or pay for abortions except for rare exemptions due to rape or incest due to the Hyde Amendment(1776) and the Stupak Amendment in Obamacare. Women either pay the full price or its subsiidised by Planned Parenhood ( through fundraising not govt funding) or if they have health insurance it may pay part of the cost of an abortion as with any other medical procedure.

    November 7, 2012 06:00 am at 6:00 am |