The past few weeks have been kind to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Several polls have shown that his favorability rating has been increasing among Republicans from a range of demographic groups. Indeed, a recent Gallup poll finds that 66 percent of Republicans now view him favorably. Furthermore, an ABC News/Washington Post poll that was released this Sunday has Trump overtaking likely Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton among registered voters.
While Trump’s standing in many public opinion polls has improved, another recent Gallup poll indicates that Trump still has considerable room for improvement with a key Republican constituency – pro-life voters. Indeed, this Gallup poll, which was released early last week, shows that only 19 percent of people who identify as pro-life state that they “generally agree” with Donald Trump on the abortion issue. Conversely, Hillary Clinton has done a far better job of engaging voters who support legal abortion. According to the Gallup poll 38 percent of pro-choice voters state that Hillary Clinton shares their views on the issue.
This survey shows that Trump needs to improve his outreach to pro-life voters. Now, it should be noted that this poll was conducted between May 4-8. This was before Trump publicly released a list of potential Supreme Court nominees that was well received by a number of pro-life groups. That said, there is more the Trump campaign can do. For instance, the positions page on Trump’s website contains nothing about sanctity of life issues. Additionally, publicly reiterating support for pro-life legislative priorities like the federal Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act would be welcome. So would commitments to appoint pro-lifers to various executive branch positions dealing with health care, foreign aid, and social policy.
Interestingly, the May 4-8 Gallup poll indicates that 23 percent of people who identify as pro-life are single-issue voters as opposed to only 17 percent of people who identify as pro-choice. This adds to a substantial body of survey research which shows that the pro-life position is politically advantageous. The Trump campaign would do well to take notice.