Supreme Court Decision on Abortion to Have ‘Net Neutral’ Impact on Midterm Voting: Poll

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.
July 5, 2022 Updated: July 7, 2022

The Supreme Court’s June 24 decision to strike down Roe v. Wade, delivering the ability to regulate abortions back to the states, will motivate a variety of voters, according to a new poll.

The move will make some voters more likely to vote Republican in the upcoming midterm elections, but will drive others to Democrat candidates, according to the survey.

An equal percentage of respondents, 36 percent, said they’re more likely to vote for a Democrat as those more likely to vote for a Republican in the midterms, in a poll performed by Harvard University and The Harris Poll.

The remaining respondents said the decision, which struck down the court’s 1973 decision that declared access to abortion was a constitutional right despite not being mentioned in the Constitution, will have no effect on how they vote in the midterms.

Presidential elections are held every four years; the elections held in between them are known as midterms. Along with featuring all members of the U.S. House of Representatives, voters will choose some U.S. senators and many state lawmakers and other politicians.

The Harvard–Harris poll was conducted on June 28 and June 29 among 1,308 registered voters. The margin of error and breakdown of party affiliations were not provided.

Democrats are much more likely to support easy access to abortion and few, if any, restrictions on getting or performing abortions. Republicans are largely in favor of restricting or outright banning abortion. In some cases, GOP lawmakers support criminal penalties for health care workers who perform abortions in violation of state laws.

Another recent poll indicated that Democrats may have more to gain from the Supreme Court’s ruling.

Approximately 78 percent of Democrat respondents to the NPR/PBS/Marist survey said the decision makes them more likely to vote in the midterms, versus 54 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of independents. Additionally, 86 percent of Democrats said they will definitely vote for a candidate who will support a federal law that would restore Roe v. Wade, compared to 67 percent of Republicans who would vote against such a candidate. Independents were split, but more said they’d align with Democrats on the matter.

The poll was conducted on June 24 and June 25 among 941 U.S. adults, including 868 registered voters. The margin of error was plus/minus 4.9 percent, or 5.1 percent for the voter subset.

Respondents to both polls were more likely to oppose the Supreme Court decision.

Fifty-five percent of respondents, including majorities of Democrats and independents, to the Harvard poll were opposed, compared to 45 percent in support. But 72 percent of respondents said they supported either a total abortion ban with exceptions for rape or incest, a ban after six weeks, or a ban after 15 weeks.

Among respondents to the other poll, 56 percent opposed the decision, versus 40 percent who supported it.

Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with more precise language.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. and world news. He is based in Maryland.