A new survey regarding support for abortion ahead of midterm elections that traditionally favor the party not in the White House is likely causing some consternation among Republicans.
The Wall Street Journal poll, released last week, found that support among Americans for abortion has actually — and sadly — risen following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in June overturning Roe v. Wade. “The rise in support for abortion could affect the November midterm elections with voters viewing abortion as a more important issue than it has been in previous elections,” Fox News reported, citing the survey.
The survey found that support for the life-ending procedure went up 5 percentage points — 55 percent to 60 percent in August — among all likely voters.
And importantly, the vast majority of self-identified Democrats — 83 percent — said the SCOTUS ruling in Hobbs v. Jackson’s Women Health Organization is more likely to motivate them to head to the polls in November, with 53 percent of Independents saying the same thing, Fox News reported, adding that nevertheless, abortion still isn’t the most important issue right now for most voters:
The poll echoed other recent polling indicating that abortion is not the most important issue for voters when compared to economic concerns like inflation, but abortion did come out as the top reason that would make voters turn out in November, according to the WSJ survey.
“Abortion is not an issue that most people, prior to Dobbs, spent a lot of time thinking about,” Molly Murphy, a Democratic pollster who helped conduct the WSJ poll with Republican Tony Fabrizio, said. “What Dobbs has done is, one, we’ve had a national conversation about it. Two, it has gone from hypothetical to real.”
Fox News added: “When asked about specific restrictions, only 30% supported abortion bans after 15 weeks (except in cases of rape, incest or medical emergency), and 27% said they supported a ban after six weeks of pregnancy. The numbers dropped from there, with only 10% saying abortion should be illegal in all cases, according to the poll.”
“The truth of the matter is, even among Republicans, there isn’t a clear consensus. They want restrictions. The question is what restrictions and how far should they go,” Fabrizio told the Journal.
On the campaign trail, Republicans have been hitting back at Democrats who are attempting to paint them as extremist in their pro-life views. In Washington state, for instance, Tiffany Smiley, a Republican challenging incumbent Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, noted in a recent ad, “I’m pro-life, but I oppose a federal abortion ban.”
Notably, the SCOTUS ruling did not ban abortion but rather returned the issue to the states for their residents to decide.
And in Arizona, Trump-backed GOP candidate Blake Masters responded to an attack ad sanctioned by his incumbent Democratic opponent, Sen. Mark Kelly, by pointing out that Kelly’s party is the one with the extreme abortion views, in many cases supporting no restrictions on the procedure whatsoever.
“Mark Kelly votes for the most extreme abortion laws in the world,” Masters noted in his own video last week, going on to point out that the Womens’ Health Protection Act Kelly supports is “more extreme than Western Europe, it’s way more extreme than what Arizonan’s want.”
Also, other GOP strategists are advising candidates to keep the focus on the inflationary policies of President Biden and his Democratic Party including high gasoline and food prices, the chaotic southwestern border, supply chain issues during his term that have included baby formula, and tanking 401(k) investment accounts.