New data from the Pew Research Center “proves, the ‘blame social conservatives’ habit is the very definition of cognitive dissonance,” writes Marjorie Dannenfelser.

“There is a compelling, sharp decline in support for legal abortion over the last eight months,” she notes. “If Republicans want to improve their electoral performance, standing on the side of life is one of the best decisions they can make.”

Dannefelser notes, “The largest numbers of converts to the pro-life cause have been self-identified independents and liberal to moderate Republicans — the very voters who decided last year’s presidential election.”

She quotes these highlights from Pew:

· Overall support for legal abortion down 8%. The proportion saying abortion should be legal in all or most cases has declined from 54% last August to 46% this month.

· Support for abortion declined by 24% among moderate and liberal Republicans. The center reported 67% of liberal and moderate Republicans said abortion should be legal in August 2008. In this month’s survey, that number had fallen to only 43%.

· Support for abortion declined by 11% among independents. The center reported 55% of independents said abortion should be legal in August 2008. In this month’s survey, that number had fallen to 44%.

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