The Washington Times - October 4, 2012, 05:08PM

A growing number of Americans say they will only vote for political candidates who agree with their stance on abortion, according to a poll released Thursday.

A Gallup poll surveyed 1,301 registered voters last week, and found that 17 percent of them say a candidate for major office must share their views on abortion, matching the highest percentage leading up to a presidential election in the past 20 years.

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The poll found that 34 percent of voters do not see abortion as a major issue when choosing a candidate, and that 45 percent say it is one of many important factors. According to the poll, 48 percent of registered voters identify themselves as being pro-choice while 45 percent say they are pro-life.

The results also showed that opponents of abortion are slightly more likely to rule out any candidate who disagrees with their views, with 9 percent of voters saying they will only vote for pro-life candidates, versus the 8 percent who hold a pro-choice litmus test.

Gallup has collected data on single-issue abortion voters since 1992, and this year’s total equals the previous high of 17 percent before the 2004 election. Only 13 percent of voters in 2008 said they held the issue as a requirement for candidates.