Roe v. Wade ruling will spark voters to seek pro-choice candidates: poll

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Roe v. Wade ruling will spark voters to seek pro-choice candidates: poll

A majority of Americans say they are now more likely to vote for a congressional candidate this fall who supports enacting federal legislation to guarantee the right to an abortion, a new poll shows.

The revealing survey comes just days after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling that had guaranteed the right.

A little more than 60 percent of registered voters say the court’s decision has made them more likely to vote in the November midterm elections, according to the NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll conducted over the weekend. Broken down by party, there were 78% of Democrats who said they are more motivated to vote now, compared to 54% of Republicans and 53% of Independents. 

When they get to the polls, 62% of the surveyed registered voters said the ruling is motivating them more to cast ballots for a candidate who would “support a federal law to restore Roe versus Wade and the right to abortion.” Thirty-six percent of respondents said they would vote against a candidate for that reason, while 13% remained unsure. 

There remains a predominant split between Republican and Democratic voters over the issue, with 67% of GOPers saying they would vote against a candidate who would promote abortion rights, while 86% of Democrats saying they would back such a candidate. 

Anti-abortion protesters celebrate after the  Supreme Court overturned the 49-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, 2022 in Washington, D.C.
Anti-abortion protesters celebrate after the Supreme Court overturned the 49-year-old landmark Roe v. Wade decision in front of the Supreme Court on Friday, June 24, 2022.
James Keivom

The split is even wider when seen more broadly: 88% of Democrats said they oppose the supreme court’s decision, while 77% of Republicans support it. Still, the majority of Americans, or 56%, said they oppose it overall. 

The survey also found that most Americans — 55% — believe that the decision was based on “politics” as opposed to law, which 36% of respondents said the ruling was based on law. 

Friday’s ruling struck down the 1973 landmark case upholding a woman’s federal right to an abortion, throwing the decision back to the states. Several conservative-led states have already implemented laws suspending or heavily restricting the procedure. 

Majority Opposes Overturning Roe v. Wade... More than Six in Ten Say Decision Will Push Them to the Polls in November
Some 56 percent of registered voters opposed the court’s decision.
Marist Poll

The decision sparked massive concerns among progressive activists and Democrats regarding the future of other constitutionally protected rights such as same-sex marriage and contraception – particularly as Justice Clarence Thomas suggested applying the decision to those cases as well. 

The survey found that 56% of Americans are concerned the decision could jeopardize those other rights. While the worries are largely among Democrats – 89% – some 55% of Independents and 18% of Republicans are also concerned, the poll showed.

Meanwhile, America’s confidence in the high court is low

Abortion-rights activists Carrie McDonald  (C) and Soraya Bata react to the Dobbs v Jackson Women's Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022
Abortion-rights activists react to the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in front of the Supreme Court on June 24, 2022.
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Only 39% of respondents said they had “a great deal” or “some” confidence in the supreme court – down from 40% just last month. Fifty-eight percent said they had “not very much” or no confidence at all in the court – up from 56%. 

The survey was conducted after the decision Friday and through Saturday among 941 respondents and carries a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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