• Polling

In Midterms, Supreme Court Overturning Roe Was Reason to Support Democrats

Friday, December 2, 2022 By Bryan Bennett
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Welcome to NAVIGATOR – a project designed to better understand the American public’s views on issues of the day and help advocates, elected officials, and other interested parties understand the language, imagery, and messaging needed to make and win key policy arguments.

What We Did: 2022 Midterm Voters Survey

The slides in this presentation are based on interviews with 5,013 registered voters who had already voted or planned to vote in the November election, with interviews conducted November 1st through November 14th . Support for Democratic candidates and Republican candidates in elections for Governor, Senate, and the House of Representatives have been adjusted to reflect the actual expected results as of November 14th . The analysis aims to provide a new tool for Americans to understand what happened in the 2022 election, why it happened…and what’s next.

Key takeaways

  • Midterm voters were overwhelmingly pro-choice and believed abortion should be legal.
  • Younger women and pro-choice Democrats prioritized abortion as their top issue in deciding their vote for Congress; for opponents of abortion, the issue was not a priority when casting their ballot.
  • The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade was broadly unpopular – including among independents and key swing voters – and this decision was overwhelmingly a reason to support Democrats over Republicans overall and for these critical persuadable groups.
  • Nearly seven in ten midterm voters rejected abortion bans.

Midterm Voters Were Overwhelmingly Pro-Choice and Believed Abortion Should Be Legal

Seven in ten “winning swing” who clinched victories in tough races for Democrats said they were “pro-choice” (71%) and 92% said abortion should be legal (46% said it is morally acceptable/should be legal, and 46% say they were against it for themselves and their family but government shouldn’t have a say). Among straight ticket Republican voters, 50% also said abortion should be legal.

Younger Women & Pro-Choice Democrats Driven to Vote By Abortion; Was Not a Top Priority for Pro-Lifers

For women under 55 and pro-choice Democrats, abortion was their top issue (44% and 51%, respectively). One in three (35%) pro-choice independents said the same; just 14% of pro-life Republicans said it was a top priority in thinking about their vote for Congress this year.

Key Swing Voters in the Midterms Overwhelmingly Disagreed with SCOTUS Overturning Roe v. Wade

“Winning swing” voters who clinched races in key places for Democrats in 2022 disapproved of the Supreme Court’s decision by a 54-point margin. Democratic and independent women more deeply disapproved of the decision than their male counterparts.

The Supreme Court Overturning Roe v. Wade Seen as a Reason to Support Democrats Over Republicans by Double Digits

Nearly two in three “winning swing” voters who clinched victories for Democrats in tough races (64%) said the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade was more of a reason to support Democrats.

  • Both independent men (+8 reason to vote for Democrats) and even more so, independent women (+26), said it was more of a reason to vote for Democrats.

Two in Three Voters Opposed a Nationwide Abortion Ban

Even straight-ticket Republican voters only supported a nationwide ban by a 5-point margin (50% support/45% oppose), while “winning swing” voters who clinched tough victories for Democrats opposed such a ban by a 62-point margin (16% support/78% oppose).

  • Both Republican men and women are evenly divided on their support for nationwide abortion bans.

Three in Five Voters Prioritized Protecting Abortion Rights Over Restrictions

Democratic, independent, and Republican women all agreed more with protecting abortion rights than their male counterparts, though majorities of Democratic and independent men also agreed.

After Midterm Victories for Abortion Rights, Registered Voters See These Rights Less At-Risk Nationwide and at State Level

There has been a 7-point net decline in perceptions of nationwide risks and a 16-point decline in perceptions of state-level risks.

  • Though the shares of each who say abortion rights are at risk in their state have declined since pre-election mid-October, Americans living in the South (61%) and Midwest (53%) are most likely to say the right to an abortion in their state is at risk – 63% of those in states with new restrictions following the overturning of Roe v. Wade also say the right to an abortion is at risk in their state.

About The Study

Global Strategy Group conducted an online survey of 5,013 registered voters from November 1-November 14, 2022, with respondents recruited from opt-in online panel vendors. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of the sample reflected that of the expected 2022 electorate in the House, Senate, and Governor’s races. The vote shares for Democrats and Republicans among self-reported 2022 voters were also adjusted to reflect a preliminary estimate of the actual results of the 2022 elections.

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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