Poll: Independent Voters Wary of Anti-Family Government Agenda

Independent voters report a growing skepticism toward the long-term positive impact of current government policies, according to a survey released by the Ohio Right to Life Society. In the final installment of its Ohio Cultural Index, the group found independent and Republican voters share many of the same views on the direction of the state and the corresponding impact to its culture. Also, the survey found a majority of Ohioans continue to have a strong faith in God, oppose taxpayer funding for abortion and believe abortions have a negative impact on the women who have the procedure.

“As Democratic leaders in Washington and Columbus march in lock-step with many anti-family groups, independent voters are growing uneasy,” said Ohio Right to Life Executive Director Mike Gonidakis. “Our leaders seem to forget Ohio is a center-right state and its people hold traditional Midwestern values. Missteps like including federal funding for abortion in the recently passed national health care law will cost Democrats dearly among independent voters.”

The survey found significant negative movement in the responses of self-identified independent voters toward issues such as government funding for abortion. Seventy-eight percent of independents surveyed opposed using tax dollars to fund abortions, 83 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Democrats also opposed the policy.

Sixty-two percent of independents said they believe public schools undermine moral and religious teachings children receive at home, 77 percent of Republicans and 32 percent of Democrats agreed. Also, 46 percent of independents reported they perceive government policies in Ohio are causing harm to families. Among Republicans it was 58 percent, while only 28 percent of Democrats agreed.

Overall, 80 percent of respondents reported a strong belief in God, and 54 percent believe abortions have a negative impact on women who have them. And, over 51 percent of Ohioans surveyed oppose abortion.

“After a tumultuous year in which taxpayer funding for abortion was at the center of a national debate over health care, opposition to it has grown from 67 percent three months ago to 72 percent now,” said pollster Fritz Wenzel. “The political implications could be tremendous for those Ohio congressional representatives who voted for the federal health care bill, as their opponents will have a powerful issue to use on the campaign trail this fall.”

The index’s significant findings include:

* 80% of Ohioans surveyed strongly believe in God;
* 51% oppose abortion;
* 54% believe abortion has a negative effect on women who have them;
* 71% oppose use of taxpayer dollars to pay for abortion;
* 47% believe some elderly or very sick patients will be denied health    care because of cost factors;
* 48% believe entertainment today negatively impacts families;
* 44% believe government policies are harming traditional family values;
* 56% believe public schools undermine values taught at home; and
* 53% believe families do a worse job of developing character than a    generation ago.

This installment of the Ohio Cultural Index is the last of a four-part survey examining Ohioans’ views on important cultural issues. The complete poll crosstabs are available for download here. Charts tracking each quarterly response are available for review here. Lastly, a podcast on this latest round of polling is available here.

The index is calculated on a 100-point scale based on responses to 11 questions about different aspects of culture and character in Ohio. It is based on a quarterly public opinion survey of adults across the state. The Ohio Cultural Index rating is 61.7 on a 100-point scale. The score is half a point lower than the previous rating of 62.2, registered in January 2010.

The survey was conducted by Wenzel Strategies from April 16-18, 2010, and included 777 Ohio registered voters contacted by phone. The poll carries a margin of error of +/- 3.49 percentage points.

Source: Ohio Life Wire, May 3, 2010

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