On the May 15 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN chief national correspondent John King said that the state of South Carolina "has a history of mixing God and politics" and, therefore, would be a "critical testing ground" to gauge whether "a former big city mayor who supports abortion rights" - former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani -- can win the Republican presidential nomination.
King's statement suggests that belief in God and opposition to abortion rights go hand-in-hand.
But poll results refute the idea that Americans who believe in God are necessarily opposed to abortion rights: A May 8-11, 2006, USA Today/Gallup poll found that 73 percent of respondents "are convinced that God exists," while 55 percent of respondents said they would not like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. (A more recent Gallup poll, conducted May 10-13, 2007, found 53 percent of respondents saying they would not like to see the Supreme Court overturn Roe.)
It is not the first time that King has suggested that conservative voters are more driven by an adherence to religious beliefs and values than other voters. As Media Matters for America has documented, on the October 3, 2006, edition of The Situation Room, King twice equated "pro-family voters" with "conservatives." During the previous day's Situation Room, King had prefaced a question to Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (FRC), by stating that "pro-family voters" looked to the conservative FRC "for guidance and advice" during political controversies.
From the May 15 edition of CNN's The Situation Room:
KING: South Carolina also has a history of mixing God and politics, and, as such, is a critical testing ground of whether a party whose platform calls for outlawing abortion is open to nominating a former big city mayor who supports abortion rights.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mayor Giuliani.
KING: State GOP chairman Katon Dawson says Rudy Giuliani's views on abortion are not as much of a liability as they would have been at the height of Christian conservative power here in the 1980s and '90s.