Since the Dobbs Draft Leak, Increasing Number of Americans Support Court Expansion
Washington, D.C. — Navigator Research today released new polling indicating that nearly two-thirds of Americans (63 percent) identify as pro-choice, including majorities across gender and racial demographic groups. Since the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson draft decision, that number has increased by 5 points, solidifying how unpopular the reversal of Roe would be.
While the vast majority of Democrats continue to identify as pro-choice (81 percent), nearly half of Republicans identify as pro-choice (44 percent), with a narrow majority identifying as pro-life (51 percent). Meanwhile, a majority of Catholics and Protestants (58 percent and 56 percent, respectively), and nearly half of evangelical Christians (44 percent) also identify as pro-choice.
Overall, an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that the decision to have an abortion should be left to a woman and her doctor (78 percent), as opposed to politicians and the government (11 percent). This finding comes as Republican-controlled state legislatures across the country prepare to ban abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
“Reviewing several weeks of tracking data, it is clear that the vast majority of Americans believe abortion should remain legal and deeply oppose proposed Republican abortion bans,” said Rachael Russell, Senior Manager of Polling & Analytics at the Hub Project and Advisor to Navigator Research.“We’ve seen a significant shift in recent weeks in the share of Americans that support expanding the Supreme Court beyond 9 seats — a strong indication that the leaked draft decision has undermined confidence in the Court as an institution.”
Along with broad support for legal abortion, the vast majority of Americans express concern about bans on abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, or when the mother’s life is at risk — including nearly three in five Republicans (57 percent). Additionally, 75 percent of Americans and a majority of Republicans (54 percent) are concerned about the government making decisions that should be between a doctor and their patient.
Since the leak of the draft Dobbs v. Jackson decision, public opinion has shifted considerably on expanding the Supreme Court, increasing by 13 points since late March (net -5 to net +8). In this latest survey, a plurality of respondents support adding more Justices to the Court (46 percent), including 65 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Black Americans.
About Navigator Research
The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
About The Studies
Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 998 registered voters from May 19-May 23, 2022. 102 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 62 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 102 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percent.