Friday, May 6, 2022

Abortion – It’s Back

It was well-known abortion rights were on the defensive and could be lost partially or totally during this Supreme Court term. But, the drama of an unprecedented Supreme Court draft opinion leak and the absolutist position of Justice Alito has put the issue front and center for the upcoming primaries and possibly the midterm elections.

Voters do not support overturning Roe v. Wade, but do accept restrictions. Frankly, just accepting the state of Mississippi’s 15-week limit could not have had the drama or polarizing effect as the Alito leak.

  • 58% don’t overturn, 32% overturn (Gallup, 3-22); less likely to support an overturn Roe candidate 58%, independents 75%, swing states 57% (NBC, 3-22)
  • 48% support 15-week ban, 43% oppose (WSJ, 3-22)
  • 50% oppose 6-week ban, 42% support (WSJ, 3-22)

Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists face off in front of the Supreme
Court, Washington, D.C., May 3, 2022 | Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Some election factors:

  1. Democrats are in trouble this year. They welcome a topic different than inflation, crime or immigration that the majority of people agree with – maintaining Roe v. Wade.
  2. They want to appeal to the swing voters, especially the young and suburban women that they did well with in 2020.
  3. Taking something away from people (abortion rights) is often a stronger message than providing a benefit.
  4. Will the Trump-McConnell Supreme Court become a villain in this election?
  5. With the short news cycle, will the issue maintain salience into November?

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