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Americans, the reversal of Roe, and the impact on voting this fall

by | Aug 2, 2022

By Dave Andrusko

Last Friday we dissected the latest Washington PostSchar School poll on abortion. 

For our purposes here, the headline makes the most important conclusion: “Americans who say abortion should be illegal in most or all cases are also more likely to say they will definitely vote than those who say abortion should be legal, by 11 points.”

This morning I read posts by David Freddoso and Cami Mondeaux of the Washington Examiner which added some details very much worth emphasizing. 

Freddoso’s lead sentences read “They [meaning the Washington Post], like Democratic politicians and most other liberals, thought the overturn of Roe v. Wade would energize fans of legal abortion to come out and vote this fall. Instead, it looks like those voters are now less likely to turn out than they were previously — and significantly less likely to turn out than pro-lifers.”

He notes that “The group most determined to vote is self-identified Republicans, 74% of whom say they are ‘likely’ to go to the polls. Only 62% of self-identified Democrats are ‘likely’ to vote.” Since opposition to abortion is much more prevalent among Republicans, that’s very good news.

With respect to abortion, Freddoso makes these critical points:

Among those who believe the Dobbs abortion decision “is not a major loss for women’s rights,” 70% say that are “likely to vote” in November. Among those who think it is a “major loss for women’s rights,” only 52% say they are likely to vote. Likewise, 66% of those who believe abortion should be illegal say they are “likely to vote,” compared to just 55% who say abortion “should be legal.” [Underlining added.]

As the Washington Post wrote

[T]he poll also provides evidence of an enthusiasm problem for Democrats: Those who reject the idea that the court’s ruling is a loss for women are 18 percentage points more likely to express certainty they will vote in the midterms — 70 percent compared with 52 percent of those who do see such a loss, according to the Post-Schar School poll conducted July 22 to 24.

For her part Cami Mondeaux begins with

Those who disagree with the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade are now less likely to vote in November compared to earlier predictions that indicated the decision would mobilize voters , particularly those in the Democratic Party, in the midterm elections

In June, 60% of voters said they’d be more motivated to vote if Roe was reversed. But in last week’s Washington Post-Schar School poll 55% of voters who believe abortion should be legal nationwide said they were likely to vote in November, a drop of 5 points.

“Meanwhile, Republicans and abortion opponents have indicated they are increasingly likely to vote in November, with 74% of the party noting they plan to head to the polls compared to just 62% of all Democrats,” Mondeaux wrote. “Of those who don’t believe abortion should be legal, 66% say they are certain they will vote in the midterm elections — possibly giving Republicans an advantage.” 

Freddoso’s  summary is perfect:

But the lesson here, and this is certainly not the first time it has cropped up, is that abortion may not be the lifeline that Democrats were looking for to save them in 2022.

Categories: Polling