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Poll: Majorities in Senate swing states back Planned Parenthood funds

Poll: Majorities in Senate swing states back Planned Parenthood funds
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The majority of voters in three Senate battleground states are opposed to defunding Planned Parenthood, according to a poll requested by the group released Monday.

Nearly 7 in 10 voters in New Hampshire, Ohio and Pennsylvania said they disagree with a GOP-backed campaign to eliminate federal funding for the women’s health provider amid an undercover video controversy.

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About three-quarters of people in those states said they would oppose a hard-lined approach that would potentially shut down the government in an attempt to halt the funding.

“The idea of shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood would be a political debacle for the Republican party brand and for the Republican candidates in 2016 who are running for re-election,” said Geoff Garin, president of Hart Research Associates, which was hired to conduct the poll by Planned Parenthood.

The poll found that about two-thirds of voters said they would be less likely to support their Republican incumbent candidates — Sens. Kelly AyotteKelly Ann AyotteSununu seen as top recruit in GOP bid to reclaim Senate Lobbying world Overnight Defense: NATO expanding troops in Iraq MORE (N.H.), Pat Toomey (Pa.) and Rob PortmanRobert (Rob) Jones PortmanHouse panel advances bipartisan retirement savings bill Democrats confront difficult prospects for midterms Biden, GOP set to find out if US wants activist government MORE (Ohio) — if they supported the defunding campaign.

Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president and chief experience officer of Planned Parenthood’s political arm, Federation of America and the Action Fund, touted the data as proof that the Republican tactic will end up harming them at the polls.

“[Voters] definitely want to see Sens. Portman, Toomey and Ayotte take a strong stand right now,” Laguens said.

Planned Parenthood has been in a political firestorm for the last month. It has been targeted by five secretly recorded videos that attempt to show the organization's officials engaging in illegal activity, specifically profiting from fetal tissue donations.

Dozens of Republicans in Congress have seized on the video controversy as a potential opening to eliminate federal funding for the healthcare provider.

Planned Parenthood receives about $500 million each year from the federal government, though none can legally be used for abortions.