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November 16, 2012

Post-Election Poll Demonstrates Choice was a Key Issue in Obama Victory

Washington, D.C. – Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America released the results of a post-election poll of likely pro-choice Obama defectors the organization targeted in 25 swing counties for pro-choice communications during the final weeks of the campaign. These Obama defectors are women who voted for President Obama in 2008 but were not committed to voting for him in 2012. NARAL Pro-Choice America’s independent-expenditure communications sought out this group based on the exclusive model built this summer by Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research (GQRR).

The survey shows that for likely Obama defectors choice was a defining and decisive voting issue. In fact, choice ranked as the number one reason these likely defectors voted against Mitt Romney.

The survey also shows that NARAL Pro-Choice America’s communications with these voters had an impact and helped move them to vote for President Obama when they previously had been identified as uncommitted to voting for him in 2012.

Key highlights of the poll:

  • Choice was the number one reason for these women to vote against Mitt Romney.  Among these Obama defector women, choice was a more compelling reason to oppose Romney than even economic issues.
  • Among these women, President Obama’s advantage on choice was greater than on any other issue by a margin of 88 points. Likely Obama defector women gave the president a bigger advantage on protecting a woman’s right to choose than any other major issue.
  • Choice significantly impacted their vote. Across the two surveys, 90 percent of these women said the right to choose and access to birth control was an important issue to them in deciding how to vote. More than three-quarters (76 percent) said it was very important to them.
  • NARAL Pro-Choice America’s mail had a particularly strong impact on the voters who would be less likely to support Obama on issues other than choice. Self-identified conservative women in NARAL’s target universe gave Obama only a small 10-point advantage on which candidate would do better with the economy and jobs, and they gave Romney a 1-point edge on government spending. A formal, advanced statistical analysis demonstrates that NARAL's communications were particularly effective at depressing Romney's vote among these more conservative likely Obama defectors. Among voters who had a favorable opinion of Romney, NARAL's mail depressed Romney’s vote share by 12 percentage points. Among self-described conservatives the drop was 7 percentage points.

Choice played a very prominent role in this election cycle. The barrage of ads on choice from both sides during the closing weeks of the campaign makes this point abundantly clear—more than a third of the Obama defector women said they paid more attention to the issue of abortion this year than in past elections. NARAL Pro-Choice America’s voter communication plan effectively used choice to help bring back some of these women voters in key counties by driving votes away from Mitt Romney. The organization contacted these women voters numerous times via mail, phones, and internet advertising prior to election day.

Read more information about NARAL Pro-Choice America’s electoral activities and information on other NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC-endorsed candidates who also won their races.


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