Public opinion leans pro-choice, which could benefit Democrats in 2022 midterms

Published May 5, 2022

By Rob Schofield

In the aftermath of Monday’s bombshell leak of a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling that would reverse the half-century-old Roe v. Wade decision guaranteeing Americans the right to an abortion, politics experts are attempting to decipher and forecast the likely impact of such a final ruling on the 2022 midterm elections in a country where public opinion still favors abortion rights.

This morning, a trio of analysts for Sabato’s Crystal Ball at the the University of Virginia Center for Politics —

Here are some excerpts from “How Abortion Might Motivate or Persuade Voters in the Midterms”:

The potential demise of Roe vs. Wade could both help Democrats generate higher turnout and appeal better to persuadable, Republican-leaning swing voters in the 2022 election who generally have a concern about women losing access to safe and legal abortion services, according to a new analysis from the University of Virginia Center for Politics/Project Home Fire data analytics project. These findings are based on Project Home Fire’s baseline survey and analysis of the attitudes of roughly 1,000 Joe Biden and 1,000 Donald Trump voters collected prior to Monday’s Politico reportabout a potential Supreme Court decision that could overrule Roe.

After delving into some survey details that add a great deal of nuance to the discussion, the article concludes this way:

Looking forward, it’s very much unclear what will happen with abortion in the 2022 election. For starters, we do not even know if the U.S. Supreme Court’s eventual opinion in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization will be the same as the one that Politico reported on earlier this week. We also know that, abortion aside, this looks like a Republican-leaning political environment, both based on history and the president’s weak approval ratings.

But our analysis does suggest that 1. The public, broadly speaking, is more supportive of abortion rights and more concerned about women’s access to abortion services than not and 2. There are voters who may be animated by Roe vs. Wade being overturned, which could give Democrats a desperately-needed shot in the arm this November given their many other political problems this year. Whether abortion would trump the concerns that persuadable voters have on other issues — such as inflation and broader economic concerns, where the Democrats appear very vulnerable — remains to be seen, but we may find out if and when the Supreme Court releases their potentially explosive actual opinion on abortion.

These findings jive with new Meredith College poll results, which show that a majority of North Carolina voters want to preserve access to abortion in our state.

In short, the news about the impending demise of Roe gives Democrats an important boost — especially if they make sure voters understand where the two sides stand on this fundamental question.

Click here to explore the entire article.