A recent poll shows that the majority of Americans, based on gender, do not let their views on abortion affect their choice in a presidential candidate. This news comes shortly after Rep. Todd Akin, the Republican Senate hopeful from Missouri, drew backlash from his own party for his comments regarding "legitimate rape" and abortion.
In an interview last week, Akin told local KTVI-TV that in cases of unwanted pregnancy due to "legitimate rape," the woman's body has the ability to block the unwanted pregnancy.
"It seems to me, from what I understand from doctors, that's really rare," Akin said in regards to pregnancy from rape. "If it's a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down."
Akin received immense backlash for his comments from both Democrats and Republicans, with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney issuing his own call for Akin to quit the Senate race. To further distance himself from the Missouri lawmaker, Romney affirmed his support of abortion in cases of rape.
A CBS News poll, conducted from Aug. 22 to 26, found that although Akin's comments resulted in extreme criticism from Democrats and Liberals, the majority of American voters (51 percent), including the majority of women, do not think Akin's comments reflect the views of most Republicans across the country.
In addition, the poll found that in general the majority of American voters (57 percent) would vote for a candidate who disagrees with their personal belief on abortion. Thirty-four percent of those questioned responded that they would not vote for such a candidate.
The poll also found that women, at 38 percent, were more likely to not support a candidate with a differing abortion view; twenty-nine percent of men felt the same way.
Although these poll results prove promising to political candidates still icing their wounds from past abortion controversies, the CBS News poll did not take into account religion, which many times proves to be the deciding factor in voters' abortion views.
A May 2012 Gallup poll found that 68 percent of nonreligious Americans are pro-choice, while those who identify with either of the two major U.S. Christian groups are pro-life. The poll found 54 percent of all Catholics to be pro-life and 57 percent of all Protestants to be pro-life.
Although the Gallup poll shows a large disparity between religious and nonreligious voters in regards to abortion, political pundits have questioned how much of the spotlight abortion will actually receive during the 2012 presidential race.
In addition, a poll recently conducted by the Barna Group found that the majority of Christian women are less interested in abortion (29 percent), compared to the issues of health care (75 percent) and taxes (62 percent) when considering their vote for the next president.
"During harder economic times, moral issues are less of a priority than the pressure of finances, jobs and survival," Barna Group president David Kinnaman said in a statement on the study, as previously reported by The Christian Post.
"Though it has never been accurate that Christian voters only care about two issues – abortion and gay marriage – the influence of issues typically associated with the 'Christian right' may be more diffused than in previous contests," he added.