Topline

Americans who support abortion rights and are unhappy with the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade are actually less likely to vote in the November midterms, a new Washington Post/Schar School poll finds, going against previous polling and Democratic strategists’ hopes that the ruling would instead increase voter turnout on the left.

Key Facts

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The poll, conducted July 22-24, found Americans who believe the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning Roe v. Wade is a “major loss for women’s rights” are significantly less likely to say they’ll vote in November, with 52% planning to vote versus 70% of those who say the ruling isn’t a loss.

Americans who support abortion being legal are also less likely to vote, with 55% saying they’ll likely go to the polls versus 66% of those who say abortion should be illegal.

Republicans are more likely than Democrats to vote—74% of GOP said and they’d vote versus 62% of Democrats—the Post notes Democratic women under 40 are particularly unlikely, with only one in three saying they’re “sure” they’ll go to the polls.

Most poll’ are supportive of abortion rights, with 65% saying the ruling represents a “major loss for women,” 58% supporting a federal law legalizing abortion and 52% saying theyd be satisfied if their state made abortion legal in all cases .

Their apprehension about voting appears driven by a feeling that politicians aren’t sufficiently responding to the ruling: 35% of said Democrats are doing a better job “handling abortion” and only 26% thought Republican politicians were better suited, but most— 39%—trust neither party to deal with the issue.

A CNN/SSRS poll conducted July 22-24 similarly found 77% of those who disapprove of the Supreme Court overturning Roe believe pro-abortion rights politicians “are not doing enough to ensure abortion access.”

Big Number

58%. That's the share of polls who said they're “absolutely certain” to vote in November, along with another 18% who said they'll “probably” cast a ballot.

Surprising Fact

The Supreme Court's ruling has made abortion a top political issue, with 31% saying it's “one of the single most important issues” determining their vote and a further 38% who said it's “very” important. While abortion still falls behind inflation and rising prices in Americans' minds—39% said that's one of their most important issues—it ranks ahead of crime (23% said one of the most important issues) and immigration (20%).

Contra

The Post The poll stands in contrast to a number of other polls taken in the wake of the Supreme Court's ruling, which have found it would instead motivate Americans to cast a ballot in November. An All In Together/Emerson College poll conducted in June found 38% of voters said the decision makes them "much more interested" in voting in November—up from 30% in September 2021—for instance, and a NPR/PBS/Marist poll found 62% of registered voters are more likely to vote in the midterms because of the ruling. That enthusiasm appeared likely to benefit Democrats, as a CBS News/YouGov poll found 50% of Democrats were more likely to vote because of the ruling versus 20% of Republicans and polling has found Americans are more likely to support pro-abortion rights candidates.

Key Background

Democratic strategists and politicians have been hoping the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade would galvanize the party's base in November and help inspire more Americans to go to the polls. President Joe Biden has emphasized the need for people to vote in November even as he's taken executive action to try and help blunt the effects of the court's ruling, telling Americans in July he believes voting in November is the "only way" to restore abortion rights and predicting women voters would turn out in “record numbers.” In addition to state-level races that could help shape state policies on abortion, Democrats are also hoping to keep control of the House and pick up two additional Senate seats in order to pass a federal law that codifies abortion rights. The impending midterms come as many even on the left have soured on Biden's presidency, however, with a separate recent CNN poll finding 75% of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters don't want the president to be the party's nominee in 2024.

Americans dismayed at end of Roe are less certain they will vote, poll finds (Washington Post)

Biden Says Voting 'Only Way' To Fix Roe V. Wade Ruling—But Here's What Polls Indicate For Midterms (Forbes)

Biden Issues Abortion Executive Order—But Doubles Down On Get-Out-The-Vote Message (Forbes)

CNN Poll: About two-thirds of Americans disapprove of overturning Roe v. Wade, see negative effect for the nation ahead (CNN)