Most voters back abortion rights but are not swayed by threat to Roe, poll finds

Far more voters say they want the Supreme Court to leave Roe v. Wade in place than not, but the issue isn’t a key motivator heading into the midterm elections, according to a new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll.

Justices by next June are expected to decide whether to scrap the half-century-old decision underpinning abortion rights and let states chose if they want to ban the procedure early in pregnancy. Already, activists on both sides of the issue are framing the stakes for voters and pouring millions of dollars into ads, voter mobilization efforts and direct campaign donations.

Yet 42 percent of respondents to the poll said they would vote for a candidate who doesn’t align with their views on abortion, compared to 32 percent who said that the candidate’s stance will determine their vote. Another 26 percent were unsure or had no opinion on the matter.

The poll of 2,000 registered voters found that many are uninformed or misinformed about the arguments the Supreme Court heard last week on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban — the case the court is using to revisit and potentially overturn the protections for the procedure enshrined by Roe v. Wade since 1973.

The poll found 44 percent of those surveyed said they had heard “not much” or “nothing at all” about the case, while nearly two-thirds either said they didn’t know how likely the court was to overturn Roe or said the court isn’t likely to overturn the precedent.

The court’s 6-3 conservative supermajority made it clear during oral arguments on Dec. 1 that it’s keen to roll back abortion rights, with the only outstanding question being how far the justices will be willing to go.

The majority of respondents to the poll support abortion rights and don’t favor the kind of sweeping restrictions a Supreme Court ruling for Mississippi would usher in, though the public remains divided on the question.

A total of 52 percent of respondents said abortion should remain legal in most or all cases, compared to 36 percent who said it should be banned in most or all cases. And 45 percent said Roe should not be overturned, compared to 24 percent who said it should be.

The POLITICO/Morning Consult poll was conducted after the arguments on the Mississippi case, from Dec. 4 to 6, 2021, and surveyed 2,000 registered voters. The margin of error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.


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