Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Republicans and Abortion

Mitt Romney is wishy-washy on abortion, but the Republican Party is not. (Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/GettyImages.)

As I was enjoying a hamburger and a beer, I overheard a conversation about politics from the next table. “I tend to agree with the Republicans on economics and taxes,” one young man said, “but I would never vote for a Republican because of the abortion issue.”

While I don’t advocate single-issue voting, it’s very clear that many voters do make their decisions based on a candidate’s position on just a handful of key issues. In this example, the Republican Party sacrifices untold millions of votes in its dogged opposition to a certain private medical procedure. The Democratic Party makes a similar sacrifice in its quixotic pursuit to suppress the right to arms.

I wonder what the electoral results would be if the major parties didn’t squander potential votes on pointless wedge issues.