The supporters of the personhood initiative that failed during the last General Election are pointing to a new post-vote poll that they say shows clearly why personhood was defeated.
But, maybe their interpretation of the poll is more telling about why the anti-abortion effort lost and just how disconnected at least of its supporters seem to be.
According to a release from Personhood Mississippi, the poll revealed that only 8 percent of the voters who elected against the measure did so because they were pro-choice.
Personhood Mississippi interprets this as evidence that opponents used scare tactics and false information to curry votes. In short, poll-goers pulled the hammer against personhood due to fear and ignorance.
I do not have a scientific poll, just what I gathered from comments from MBJ subscribers, friends, relatives, etc., of all walks prior to the vote. I heard people, many of them I consider right-of-center, express reservations about the initiative because they had looked at it and were concerned. They weren’t ignorant or scared, just convinced that the initiative was too far-reaching, threatened patient-doctor relations, etc. Practical, informed opinion.
Certainly, there was a mountain of information spit out by both sides through which voters were forced to wade. Even Republican Gov. Haley Barbour, who voted for the initiative, said before and after he cast his vote that he had reservations about the proposed legislation. If an iconic conservative such as Barbour, who is known for his pension to do his homework before he acts, had lingering questions up to and even after the vote, it is understandable that other Mississippians would struggle to digest it all.
I must add that I also heard from people who said they were voting for personhood. The reasons I heard generally centered less on theology/morality and more on respect for life and advocacy for the voiceless unborn. Again, practical, informed opinion.
The bottom line is personhood did not get beat — it was routed. Mississippians listened, watched, then voted a resounding “no.”
So. maybe it’s Personhood Mississippi that is the scared, ignorant bunch. At the very least, they should quit making excuses and laying the blame on the voter and either retool their efforts for another fight or go peaceably into the night — forever.