Quinnipiac University Poll

Who's Extreme? Quinnipiac Poll Shows Large Majority Of Virginians Support Abortion Center Regulations

Christian conservatives are extremists. Out of touch. Want to force their view of the world, indeed, their religion, on all of us. 

That, basically, is what the Far Left, posing as pragmatists, even as self-styled libertarians, would have the public believe about Christian conservatives and the pro-life movement. No matter how much common sense a law about abortion center safety makes, for example, the Far Left rants hysterically about lost rights and a pending Christian theocracy. They pontificate about diversity of thought and redefine the founding ideals of Virginia and America — which is perfectly peculiar: Who knew there was a range of thought on the deaths of babies and the potential serious physical injuries to women as well as subsequent mental problems? In fact, don't the abortion-on-demand crowd cite vague "mental health" concerns as a be-all exception to allow abortion?

More disturbing is the pro-abortion side's assertion that Americans, and Virginians in particular, have somehow removed themselves from their centuries-long shared traditions, upbringings, faith and shared sense of values because fleeting, temporary political winds, often mild, and rarely caused by a serious discussion of "social issues." The fact is, whether rank and file Democrat or Republican, the vast majority of Americans and Virginians understand common, practical sense and know what is patently wrong and unfair. They know injustice and they know danger. They know a problem when they see one and demand it get fixed. Some things are simply inherent and instinctive.

Now, on the heels of tomorrow's meeting of the Virginia Board of Health to consider safety regulations for abortion centers, a Quinnipiac University Poll proves that the loud rantings of a few on the fringe mask a large consensus. Either that or Virginians are massively intolerant Christian bigots and zealots, or even uniformed, uneducated, backward simpletons, or maybe both — in the Far Left's view. Really, though, Virginians are just real. The essence of the poll:

Quinnipiac interviewed 1,368 registered Virginia voters from September 6-12 and 55 percent of them support holding abortion centers to tougher health standards and only 22 percent opposed. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.7 percentage points. Even the 50 percent who believe abortion should be legal (versus 41 percent who do not) said the proposed regulations are necessary to protect the health of women who have abortions.

Those are large numbers and you cannot get a majority on most any issue in a politically competitive state such as Virginia with only those from one party. Especially on abortion. It's an issue even many Republicans don't feel easy about. But most Virginians — Democrat, Republican, independent, Tea Party or true libertarian — know that societies form governments for core functions. Protecting its people is the primary one. It's just common sense — mainstream thought — that everyone but the Far Left has yet to figure out.

Not Playing Nice IS Good Politics!

On the heels of my post last week when I extolled the leadership of New Jersey's conservative Republican Governor Chris Christie, comes a poll that shows his job approval has skyrocketed the more he confronts and takes on the opposition to reform. A new Rasmussen survey shows the governor at a whopping 57 percent approval rating (NBC40.net)! This astonishing number comes as he is cutting state employees, their benefits and their pensions, among many other sacred cows. In August, he was at 51 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll (see The State Column blog). Either way, in a climate where establishment politicians are getting their heads handed to them, the numbers are more than impressive. It's more than a fascination or amusement with Mr. Christie's sharp tongue and undiplomatic public sarcasm (though he does score style points for that, I admit).

The lesson is that trying to be Mr. or Ms. Popularity by appealing to all sides, by playing the bland policy game, by not taking on bold initiatives, offering lukewarm reforms, and not doing what you are going to do (reduce government and tax rates, for example) pleases no one. Liberals always will think conservatives are mean and hateful, and the conservatives who elected Mr. or Ms. Popularity will abandon him or her (hello George W. Bush) for living up to his or her word.

So, it pays to have a definitive point of view, a bold agenda and a take no prisoners approach to getting it done. Better to have a dedicated following willing to give their all, than to attempt to appease all sides, water down your plan, and still have the sides aiming at each other because while they'll accept the bone thrown to them, they don't like the bone thrown to the other side. It's ironic, but you can't get popular by pleasing everyone. To paraphrase the general in one of the many great scenes in Patton:

We're fighting a war, darn it. We have to offend someone!

This is why Governor Christie is reaping a following, not only in New Jersey, but around the country. He's willing to take his policies forward not caring who complains or takes offense. He  obliterates the idea that conservative values and philosophy can win and work only in certain states or regions, or that candidates must be tailored to certain electorates. What it really shows is that conservatism, when its time-tested core of life, liberty and property are clearly articulated and fearlessly fight for, strikes the very core of the yearning most people innately have for freedom from a nanny state and their antipathy for a leviathan that thinks it can and must do everything (while driving us into insolvency) — and that they will justly reward those who do so.