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Poll Throws Cold Water on Narrative That Abortion Decision Will Be Winning Issue for Democrats in Midterms

AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana

Ever since a draft opinion was leaked early last month showing that the U.S. Supreme Court was looking to overturn Roe v. Wade with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision, the hope from many pro-abortion Democrats was that the outrage would motivate the base enough to turn out in the midterms. It may even be why the opinion was leaked in the first place.

Multiple polls, however, have shown that abortion just does not matter as much to voters as other issues, such as inflation, which the Democrats and President Joe Biden are not faring well on. While the abortion issue may play a role in some specific races, even Democratic strategists, such as James Carville and Kevin Walling believe the midterm elections will come down to economic issues.

On Wednesday, a USA Today-Suffolk University poll surveying registered voters proved this point even further. Although a majority of the respondents support abortion and want Roe to remain intact, they certainly don't prioritize it as their major issue for the upcoming midterms, now just a little over four months away. 

It's also worth noting that the poll is misleading on how it describes Roe as "the 1973 decision that ensured access to abortion during the first several months of pregnancy." In reality, the decision imposed legal abortion on demand in all 50 states. And, thanks to its companion case of Doe v. Bolton, it made abortion legal throughout all nine months of pregnancy for so-called "health" reasons, which the Court itself acknowledged could mean a whole myriad of reasons applying to the mother's "well-being." 

The support for abortion and Roe among respondents actually make the poll's findings that much more compelling, though. 

When asked about abortion being an important issue when voting, just 14.60 percent said it was "the most important issue to my vote." A strong majority, at 62 percent, said it's "an important issue, but it’s not the most important issue."

An even stronger majority, at 76.60 percent, said the Court overturning Roe would have "no effect" on making them more or less likely to vote. Just 19.70 percent it would make them "more likely." That's particularly damning to the pro-abortion Democrats' narrative. 

Another finding that reflects pretty poorly on Democrats is that by 66.20 to 23.30 percent, respondents say the "state of the economy" matters more than "abortion rights."

USA Today went with such findings for the the poll's write-up, noting that "Furor over Roe v. Wade reversal likely won't rescue Democrats in midterm elections: Poll." 

"Democratic strategists who hope a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would transform the midterms' political landscape in their favor may be in for a disappointment," the write-up opens with. 

The concern for the economy, especially inflation, is emphasized even more so with comments from respondents who are featured in the write-up:

"Gas prices going up too high; the inflation rate is ridiculous," said Ben Hoffman, 35, of Karthaus, Pennsylvania, ticking off his top concerns. While the political independent supports abortion rights, "I think the state of the economy right now is going to become a life-and-death issue here in the fall, if things continue in the high-price direction that they're heading."

For most voters, that familiar maxim – "It's the economy, stupid" – still applies.

There's also more than to this issue, which in part involves that when asked another way, respondents more so favor states deciding their own abortion laws, which is what overturning Roe would entail. In this poll, the support for "one national policy" has a smaller lead of 51 percent over to the 40.20 of respondents who want it left to the states. Other polls show respondents prefer the abortion decision be left to the states. 

Respondents in this poll, and in others, also oppose abortion throughout all nine months of pregnancy. A majority, at 55.80 percent, oppose "midterm abortions," while two-thirds, at 67.20 percent oppose "late-term abortions." The Democratic Party, on the other hand, supports abortion up until birth with no legal limits. 

Madeline covered results of the poll as well, in her VIP piece from Wednesday, highlighting how 60.10 percent of respondents say a state banning abortion wouldn't affect the desirability of the state and how even more respondents, at 67.50 percent, say corporations should not take a stand on the issue. 

It's worth noting that the poll isn't all illuminating, as it claims "Some legal scholars say a Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade would open the door to overturning other decisions that recognized personal rights," which is a fear-mongering talking point among key Democrats, including Vice President Kamala Harris. The leaked draft opinion that has the pro-abortion movement in such a panic makes clear that abortion is the only issue affected. 

Not surprisingly, the poll also found that by overwhelmingly strong majorities, respondents would oppose a Supreme Court decision that overturned same-sex marriage (72.20 percent), interracial marriage (84.90 percent), and contraception (83.00 percent). 

The poll was conducted June 12-15 with 1,000 registered voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.

The Supreme Court still has nine decisions to hand down, including Dobbs. It may come down as soon as Friday morning. 

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