Is a Candidate's Abortion Position Irrelevant?

George Will has an interesting column arguing that a Presidential candidate's position on abortion should be irrelevant to many voters, particularly those who support abortion rights and live in states where the majority shares that view.

Many, perhaps most, Americans, foggy about the workings of their government, think that overturning Roe would make abortion, one of the nation's most common surgical procedures, illegal everywhere. All it actually would do is restore abortion as a practice subject to state regulation. But because Californians are content with current abortion law, their legislature probably would adopt it in state law.

It is not irrational for voters to care deeply about a candidate's stance regarding abortion because that stance is accurately considered an important signifier of the candidate's sensibilities and sympathies, and of his or her notion of sound constitutional reasoning. But regarding abortion itself, what a candidate thinks about abortion rights is not especially important.

While Will makes some important points, he also overstates his case. For instance, insofar as voters care about the legality of abortion in other jurisdictions, a candidate's views on abortion -- and the expected likelihood that a candidate's views will result in Supreme Court appointments influence Court jurisprudence on this issue -- would be quite relevant.