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Democrats in Congress Seen As Most Likely to Protect Abortion Rights

Friday, February 16, 2024 By Ian Smith
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Poll: Perceptions of Democrats in Congress

This Navigating the Battleground report contains polling data on how constituents in battleground districts represented by Democratic lawmakers rate their members of Congress, the level of trust they have in Democratic lawmakers on a variety of issues, and how likely they view Democrats in Congress to work on passing legislation on those issues. Battleground districts include House districts where constituents are closely divided along conservative and progressive ideological lines.

Democratic lawmakers are most trusted by their constituents on protecting abortion rights, protecting democracy, and making health care more affordable.

Majorities of battleground constituents trust their named Democratic lawmaker when it comes to protecting abortion rights, making health care and prescription drugs more affordable, and protecting democracy. Nearly three in five battleground constituents in districts represented by Democratic lawmakers trust their representative to protect abortion rights at least “somewhat” (57 percent; 39 percent trust “a lot” and 18 percent trust “somewhat”), including 50 percent of independents (26 percent “a lot” and 24 percent “somewhat) and even 36 percent of Republicans (17 percent “a lot” and 19 percent “somewhat”). Additionally, majorities also trust their Democratic lawmakers when it comes to “making health care and prescription drugs more affordable” (54 percent; 28 percent trust “a lot” and 26 percent trust “somewhat”) and “protecting democracy” (51 percent; 33 percent trust “a lot” and 18 percent trust “somewhat”).

  • Reminder: This survey also found that battleground constituents in districts with Republican representatives had lower levels of trust in their named members of Congress than constituents in districts with Democratic representatives, with the largest disparities being on the issues of “protecting abortion rights” (57 percent trust for Democratic lawmakers compared to 26 percent for Republican lawmakers), “making health care and prescription drugs more affordable” (54 percent trust for Democratic lawmakers compared to 35 percent for Republican lawmakers), and “protecting democracy” (51 percent trust for Democratic lawmakers compared to 41 percent for Republican lawmakers). 
  • Democratic lawmakers are also viewed net favorably by constituents in their district by a net 7 points (41 percent favorable – 34 percent unfavorable), though they are underwater by a net 9 points among independents (31 percent favorable – 40 percent unfavorable). By comparison, Republican lawmakers are underwater in net favorability by 6 points (33 percent favorable – 39 percent unfavorable).
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Constituents Trust Democratic Lawmakers Most on Protecting Abortion, Protecting Democracy, & Making Health Care Affordable
Bar graph of polling data from Navigating the Battleground. Title: Democratic Lawmakers Earn Net Positive Favorability Ratings From Their Constituents

Two in three battleground constituents view Democrats in Congress as more likely to try to restore a woman’s right to an abortion nationwide.

64 percent of battleground constituents believe it is likely that “Democrats in Congress will fight to pass a law that restores a woman’s right to an abortion nationwide and protect health care workers who provide abortions” (64 percent), the only issue where most believe Democrats in Congress will do this. Other issues where nearly half of battleground constituents think it is likely Democrats in Congress will take legislative action include “work[ing] to make a fairer tax system so the ultra-wealthy and corporations pay their fair share by holding the ultra-wealthy and corporate tax cheats accountable” (46 percent), “work[ing] to further improve the economy and bring down costs by bringing supply chains back to the U.S., investing in job and skills training, and holding companies that price gouge accountable” (45 percent), and “bring[ing] down energy costs by investing in an all of the above energy approach that includes a diverse mix of energy, securing the grid, and increasing energy storage” (45 percent).

  • Reminder: Our October 2023 battleground survey found that nearly three in five battleground constituents supported a law that would re-establish a nationwide right to access abortion in the U.S. (net +19; 57 percent support – 38 percent oppose), our July 2023 battleground survey found that three in four battleground constituents support raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations (net +49; 73 percent support – 24 percent oppose), and our latest national research found that the most convincing argument when communicating about corporate greed is “corporate profits and CEO salaries are at an all-time high, outpacing inflation: corporations have given their CEOs big bonuses and their shareholders big stock buybacks, while raising prices for families and small businesses” (76 percent convincing).
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
Survey results to the following split sample questions on the Republican tax plan: Do you favor or oppose raising taxes on billionaires and big corporations? Do you favor or oppose closing tax loopholes for billionaires and big corporations?
Bar graph of polling data from Navigator Research. Title: Rising Corporate Profits and CEO Salaries Are Most Convincing on Corporations’ Role in Price Hikes

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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 January 11-15, 2024. 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