Lion of the Blogosphere

GSS, abortion, and working-class whites

For years 2004-2014, the General Social Survey says that 38.1% of working-class (no Bachelor’s degree) non-Hispanic whites and 56.4% of college-graduate non-Hispanic whites believe than a woman should be able to have an abortion for any reason.

Those percentages increase to 78.7% and 82.9% for when the pregnancy was a result of rape. So Scott Walker’s extreme position in which he opposes legal abortion even when the woman is raped is way outside the mainstream.

Among white working-class voters, those who support abortion for any reason voted 58.0% for Obama, and those who do not support abortion for any reason voted 58.8% for McCain (in the 2008 election).

The difference is much more dramatic for college-educated white voters. Those who support abortion for any reason (the majority) voted 69.8% for Obama, and those do not support abortion for any reason voted 68.5% for McCain.

I would say this means that abortion is a more important issue to educated voters and is probably what is preventing Republicans from winning national elections; they are losing the college-educated white vote because of this.

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It’s rather ironic that non-Hispanic whites are more pro-choice than either non-Hispanic blacks or Hispanics, yet whites are most likely to vote Republican despite the Republicans being the pro-life party.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 17, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

24 Responses

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  1. I would say this means that abortion is a more important issue to educated voters and is probably what is preventing Republicans from winning national elections; they are losing the college-educated white vote because of this.

    I’m skeptical of this. College educated white voters for whom abortion is an important issue tend to be atheistic, non-Christian, and liberal in general.

    College educated white Republicans who aren’t anti-abortion either don’t care about abortion or don’t think it’s worth determining votes. In general, they find abortion distasteful, and while they may tolerate or accept it, they generally don’t buy the “rights” and “women’s body and choice” rhetoric of those who are pro-abortion.

    Tom

    August 17, 2015 at 1:54 pm

  2. That’s fascinating. Charles Murray says upper class whites need to exert their values onto lower class whites. But it looks like lower class whites have more wholesome values. Yeah, I get it. It’s the “do as I do, not as I say” approach. Upper class whites are less likely to abort an unborn child. But that’s only because they have all the money. Let’s stop it with open (legal and illegal) borders and reduce wealth inequality so lower class whites can afford to do as upper class whites do (and not say).

    Dave

    August 17, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    • If you want fewer abortions among the poor you should focus on implanted long term birth control. Poor people lack the cognitive skills to reliably use other forms of birth control.

      Lloyd Llewellyn

      August 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      • I want poor people to be less poor—and to earn a better living.

        Dave

        August 17, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      • @Dave:

        “I want poor people to be less poor—and to earn a better living.”

        Does anyone not?

        But, in all seriousness, that’s something that has to be promoted as a good in and of itself, not as something that will magically make them conform to whatever you think they should be doing.

        It’s like when you see conservatives saying the poor would be better off if they had fewer kids out of wedlock. Actually, having kids out of wedlock is highly correlated with being, well, a screw up. It’s not causative. The people who do it and suffer terribly wouldn’t be doing any better if they got married first, considering the combination of genetics and social factors. Pretending otherwise is simply turning moral issues into a sociological cargo cult.

        Jesse

        August 18, 2015 at 9:09 am

      • “Actually, having kids out of wedlock is highly correlated with being, well, a screw up. It’s not causative.”

        Winners get abortions, screw-ups have a kid.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 18, 2015 at 9:21 am

    • Upper class whites are less likely to abort a child because they are more likely to use birth control and avoid unwanted pregnancies. I suspect single upper class white women are more likely to have an abortion if they do end up with an unplanned pregnancy.

      Jimi

      August 17, 2015 at 6:34 pm

    • “Upper class whites are less likely to abort an unborn child. But that’s only because they have all the money.”

      They’re also far less likely to create one in the first place, but don’t let that get in the way of your fantasy.

      Jesse

      August 18, 2015 at 8:48 am

      • Edit: I mean, create children they can’t afford.

        Also:

        “Let’s…reduce wealth inequality so lower class whites can afford to do as upper class whites do (and not say).”

        Lol. You honestly think they’ll behave better if only they have moar munneh? If nothing else, you do understand that children are vastly more expensive than birth control?

        Jesse

        August 18, 2015 at 8:51 am

      • Georgina Bloomberg, rich, Jewish, single mom.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        August 18, 2015 at 9:00 am

  3. It wasn’t just rape though. In the Fox Debate he doubled down on his opposition to abortion even when necessary to save the life of the mother!

    Perez HBD

    August 17, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    • I guess Walker must really believe this then. He has to know it’s not a winning position.

      Lowe

      August 17, 2015 at 3:15 pm

  4. On Trump’s website, the ‘positions’ section consists of a single entry, immigration.

    Rubio’s website has positions on tons of topics but none on immigration.

    Dan

    August 17, 2015 at 6:18 pm

  5. Trump’s position is the smartest out of all the GOP candidates. The other candidates are going hardcore anti-abortion because they’re losing the primary and desperate to appease the religious right. It won’t work because there are several candidates fighting for the religious right which splits it too much to help any of them. Also, as you pointed out, their position will turn off too many voters in the general. How are they going to walk those extreme statements back? As far as I’m concerned they’ve just removed themselves from the election.

    As for Trump, his position is strong enough that it won’t turn off the majority of voters in the primary but weak enough it won’t turn off the majority of voters in the general. Only the most hardcore on either side would find it unacceptable. Everyone else will overlook it. As I’ve stated repeatedly, I strongly oppose abortion for my family but don’t really want it banned because it helps reduce poverty and crime. It irritates me when pols on either side pound the table over it. Like homosexuality, I want it to be a private, social issue not a public, political football. Trump’s position does this by threading the needle and making it a non-issue.

    destructure

    August 17, 2015 at 7:33 pm

  6. Abortion is important to Christian Conservatives and the GOP won’t even bring it up. At least the D-Party fights for the issues their voters want. Only hardcore lesbians on the Left care much about abortions. This issue is more important for symbolism. The D-Party doesn’t need it, but they fight for it because a tiny percentage of their base thinks its the most important issue. The GOP keeps ignoring a huge part of their base even though they’ve been screaming about this for years. The Republicans are the Chamberpot of Commerce Party. They are bought and paid for. They represent what they get paid to represent. Its a Cash and Carry 24 hour lobbying service.

    Joshua Sinistar

    August 17, 2015 at 8:01 pm

  7. I would say this means that abortion is a more important issue to educated voters and is probably what is preventing Republicans from winning national elections;

    It’s only a negative to degreed white voters if Republicans emphasize abortion. If a Republican candidate does what Trump is likely to do – i.e., only answer they’re pro-choice when asked – and then shifts to non-abortion issues, white collar voters will usually ignore pro-life stances. Many officially prolife Northeastern Republicans have won statewide this way.

    No reason for Trump to flip flop as long as it’s not a central theme.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    August 17, 2015 at 11:02 pm

  8. Christie for example won as a technically prolife gubernatorial candidate in a blue state.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    August 17, 2015 at 11:04 pm

  9. I think it’s a familiar finding that liberalism on the social issues correlates with higher IQ. So college graduates are more liberal than non-graduates, whites more liberal than blacks, and Jews more liberal than gentiles. I don’t have the source now, but I remember reading that IQ correlates with being more market-friendly on economic issues.

    But it also seems that more liberal, left-wing social views correlate with more socialistic, left-wing economic views, perhaps because of certain dispositional traits (not IQ) that tend to produce both, and it’s on this left-right axis that the American political parties have defined themselves. In this two-party system, blacks glommed onto the preferable party.

    They chose the Democrats, for their lefty economic policies and because the Republicans seemed racist. (Right-wing political preference does seem to be associated with xenophobia and politically incorrect racial views.) But it’s an imperfect fit, because blacks are also socially conservative and white Democrats aren’t. On balance though they still overwhelmingly vote Democrat.

    Ivan

    August 17, 2015 at 11:34 pm

    • I have noticed for years that the upper class is trending fiscally conservative/socially liberal. All parties have a variation of this philosophy in their elite circles. Many moderate Democrats, moderate Republicans and Libertarians fall within this milieu despite their opposing labels.

      This patrician centrism can best be seen within the publication “The Economist” and politicians like Michael Bloomberg.

      B.T.D.T.

      August 18, 2015 at 2:20 pm

  10. There are some symbolic issues that could be implemented easily by someone (cough) who doesn’t really care about the issue. They were intended to rub the loss in the faces of the pro-lifers, but should have little impact otherwise. Like having that fat Georgetown lawyer pay for her own birth control, etc.

    Glengarry

    August 18, 2015 at 9:15 am

    • We don’t want poor girls to not use birth control because they think it’s too expensive. It’s really one of the most cost-effective investments of government money that I can think of. Compare that to the $100,000+ it costs to educate the kid in public schools from kindergarten to 12th grade, plus whatever other welfare benefits the kid and the single mom will get.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 18, 2015 at 9:23 am

      • The amount of trust the community loses when one of these marginal abortions is born can’t be calculated in $, either.

        jjbees

        August 18, 2015 at 10:13 am

  11. I don’t think you can draw the conclusions you do from the ABANY parameter in GSS, as it creates a false dichotomy and conflates two parameters, why and when, that may be treated differently by different respondents.

    Most people think a woman should be able to have an abortion for any reason – until the 20th week, after which support for legal abortion drops off the cliff (especially among women). It’s possible for someone to be pro-choice with the caveat “but she has to make the decision by week X”, after which they become pro-life.

    J1

    August 18, 2015 at 12:16 pm

  12. If people want Abortion to be legal and subsidized then it can’t be voluntary. Only responsible women are getting abortions because the Government stupidly subsidizes the births of the poor. Some of these ghetto girls are having a dozen low IQ future criminals in order to get the welfare money. If people want abortion it should be a targeted program to reduce poverty and eliminate the stupid. No more welfare for single moms! Automatic abortions for low IQ and uneducated women! If a high IQ woman wants an abortion, she should be talked out of it and the baby put up for adoption. Margaret Sanger was a Eugenicist, and that’s what birth control and abortion should be used for, otherwise Idiocracy will be your only future!

    Joshua Sinistar

    August 19, 2015 at 7:29 pm


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