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palin6.jpgThe strategy was audacious on its face.
Picking a vice presidential candidate who would energize the GOP’s Christian Right base while also appealing to millions of independent voters, including lots of former Hillary Clinton supporters?
Sounded impossible.
Gallup is out with a new poll on the abortion issue that suggests the plan–McCain picking Palin–might not be so audacious after all.
The poll finds that most swing voters simply don’t care much about the abortion issue.

[A]as Gallup polling in 2008 and all recent past elections shows, only a small fraction of Americans are highly activated on the abortion issue. Most Americans downgrade the importance of abortion to their vote, saying either that it’s not a major issue for them (37%), or that it’s just one of many important issues they consider (49%). Only 13% of Americans told Gallup in May 2008 that they vote only for candidates for major offices who share their views on abortion.
….the abortion issue appears to be even less of a factor for independent women than it is for their partisan counterparts. According to Gallup’s May 2008 Values and Beliefs survey, 20% of Republican women said they vote only for candidates who share their views on abortion, as did 14% of Democratic women but only 8% of independent women.

All of which is to say that a candidate like Palin could (and has) mobilize the GOP’s religious voters without scaring off the middle of the roaders that McCain will need to win in November. It’s anti-convention wisdom. But the results of the Gallup poll are loud and clear.


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