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Abortion Restrictions Continue to be Unpopular Among Battleground Constituents

Wednesday, November 8, 2023 By Maryann Cousens
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Poll: Views of Abortion in Battleground Districts

This Navigating the Battleground report contains polling data on perceptions of the political parties and incumbents on the issue of abortion, including views of abortion accessibility and protections, perceptions of party extremism on abortion, and which party is most trusted to handle issues pertaining to abortion.

A majority of constituents in battleground districts believe Republicans are too extreme on the issue of abortion and are far more extreme than Democrats on the issue.


By a 21-point margin, nearly three in five constituents say Republicans are too extreme on the issue of abortion (58 percent too extreme – 37 percent not extreme); by contrast, constituents are more evenly divided on whether Democrats are too extreme on abortion (48 percent too extreme – 46 percent not extreme). Nearly two in three independents say Republicans are too extreme on the issue of abortion (64 percent), compared to less than half who say Democrats are too extreme (49 percent). Moreover, 58 percent of constituents in battleground districts with a Republican incumbent believe Republicans are too extreme on the issue of abortion, compared to 47 percent who believe Democrats are too extreme. 

  • Battleground constituents view Democrats as more trustworthy than Republicans by a 29-point margin when it comes to issues surrounding abortion (51 percent trust Democrats more – 22 percent trust Republicans more).
  • Nearly two in three constituents say Republicans will pass more restrictions on abortion if they win the next election (63 percent), including 68 percent of women and 57 percent of independents.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Battleground Voters View Republicans as More Extreme on Abortion Than Democrats
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground Title: Democrats Have a 29-Point Party Trust Advantage on Abortion
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: By a 37-Point Margin, Battleground Voters Think Republicans Will Try to Further Restrict Abortion Access

Battleground constituents overwhelmingly believe abortion should be legal while they continue to be threatened across the country. 


Two in three constituents in battleground districts believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases (64 percent), with only six percent believing abortion should be illegal. Similarly, an overwhelming majority of battleground constituents say they don’t believe the government should prevent someone from making the decision to have an abortion (77 percent), with 45 percent saying they support someone’s right to an abortion and believe it should be legal and available, and an additional 32 percent saying they are personally against abortion, but don’t believe the government should prevent someone from making that decision. Nearly two in three independents and independent-leaners believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases (64 percent).

  • Of those who are unfavorable toward both Biden and Trump, over half say they personally support the right to an abortion (56 percent), and an additional 30 percent say they personally do not support abortion but do not believe the government should prevent someone from making that decision. Only 14 percent of those who are unfavorable to Biden and Trump believe abortion is wrong and should be illegal. 
  • Even most Republican constituents believe that there should not be government intervention into abortion access (57 percent), including 13 percent of Republicans who say they personally support someone’s right to an abortion and believe it should be legal and a larger 44 percent plurality who say that while they are personally against abortion, they do not believe the government should prevent someone from making the decision to have an abortion.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Two in Three Battleground Voters Think Abortion Should Be Legal in All or Most Circumstances
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Nearly Half Support Abortion Outright; Another Third Think it Should Be a Personal Decision Without Government Intrusion

As states continue to impose abortion bans, a majority of battleground constituents support Congress establishing a national right to abortion.


57 percent say they would support legislation that protects the right to an abortion and protects physicians who provide abortions, including 58 percent support from independents. Further, a majority say they would be more likely to support their Congressperson if they supported protecting the right to abortion nationwide (55 percent), with 45 percent saying this would make them “much” more inclined to support their Congressperson. 

  • A majority oppose the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade (56 percent), including 56 percent of battleground constituents living in districts with Republican incumbents, 55 percent of battleground constituents living in districts with Republican incumbents, and two in three battleground constituents who are unfavorable towards both Biden and Trump (66 percent).
  • 65 percent of women under the age of 35 in battleground districts are more likely to support their Congressperson if they support protecting the right to an abortion nationwide, of which 55 percent say they would be “much” more likely to support them.
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: A National Law Affirming Roe as the Law of the Land is Supported by Nearly 60 Percent of Battleground Voters
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Over Half of Battleground Voters Oppose Overturning Roe
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: More Than Half Are More Likely to Support Their Congressperson If They Protect a Woman’s Right to An Abortion Nationwide

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About The Study

Impact Research conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 1,500 likely 2024 general election voters from October 19-25, 2023. The survey was conducted by text-to-web (100 percent). Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the 61 congressional districts included in the sample across a variety of demographic variables. The margin of error for the full sample at the 95 percent level of confidence is +/- 2.5 percentage points. The margin for error for subgroups varies and is higher.

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About Navigator

In a world where the news cycle is the length of a tweet, our leaders often lack the real-time public-sentiment analysis to shape the best approaches to talking about the issues that matter the most. Navigator is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates by conducting research and reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press. Navigator is a project led by pollsters from Global Strategy Group and GBAO along with an advisory committee, including: Andrea Purse, progressive strategist; Arkadi Gerney, The Hub Project; Joel Payne, The Hub Project; Christina Reynolds, EMILY’s List; Delvone Michael, Working Families; Felicia Wong, Roosevelt Institute; Mike Podhorzer, AFL-CIO; Jesse Ferguson, progressive strategist; Navin Nayak, Center for American Progress Action Fund; Stephanie Valencia, EquisLabs; and Melanie Newman, Planned Parenthood Action Fund.

For press inquiries contact: press@navigatorresearch.org