Clinton and Trump Are Outliers on Abortion

Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have publicly staked out definite positions on abortions, as was evident in last week’s debate. However, neither candidate’s stance on abortion actually reflects how the American people feel about the issue. Hillary Clinton, by fully supporting the whole spectrum of reproductive rights issues, finds herself to the left of the population, while Donald Trump is somewhere center-right, depending on which day he is asked what his stance on the issue actually is.

According to a Gallup poll, 50 percent of all Americans believe that abortion should be legal only in some circumstances, with 29 percent believing it should be legal in all circumstances, and 19 percent believing it should be illegal in all circumstances. Interestingly enough, these percentages have remained relatively unchanged since 1975, reflecting a consistent consensus about abortion in the United States.

With her statements supporting abortion, Hillary Clinton has positioned herself t0 the left of the American majority, as she has believes a woman’s right choose should be, for the most part, unrestricted by the government. Donald Trump has positioned himself all over the map, however his comments in the last debate and his suggestion that women or doctors be punished for abortions are not in lockstep with the American people either.

A CNN/ORC poll breaks down public opinion even further, where Clinton and Trump fall on the ends of the spectrum of public opinion again.

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Neither Hillary Clinton nor Donald Trump are fully with the majority of Americans, although a majority do now say that they are pro-choice. The disconnect on this one issue is probably not likely a deciding factor for many voters, however it could possibly be a point of contention when discussing potential Supreme Court Justices.

Ethan Flanagan

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