Elections: The Politics of Abortion

Sheeraz Qurban

Voters in the United States have already begun to cast their ballots for the House of Representatives, Senate, and scores of state and local offices this year. As Election Day approaches, here’s a look at voters’ issue priorities, based primarily on a Pew Research Center survey conducted Oct. 10-16, 2022.

Economy, the Future of Democracy, the issue of Abortion, and which party should win control of Congress remain the major concerns of voters ahead of midterm elections.

The economy has consistently been the top issue for voters this year.

Americans have viewed the country's economy as extremely negative in recent months. About 8 in 10 adults (82%) say the economy today is poor (36%) or just average (46%). Only 17% of respondents said conditions were very good (2%) or good (16%).

The future of democracy

The future of democracy is also a voting issue for many, with 70 percent of registered voters saying it is very important to their midterm ballots. At least six in 10 felt the same about education (64%), health care (63%), energy policy (61%), and violent crime (61%). More than half of voters said the same about gun policy (57%) and abortion (56%). As in previous elections, voters' priority of issues varies by the party.

While most in both parties say the economy is very important to their vote, voters in their district who support or lean toward a Republican House candidate are more likely than voters in their district who support or favor a Democratic candidate in favor of it. More likely to say so (92% vs. 65%).

The pinnacle priorities for Democratic voters encompass the future of democracy in the U.S. (80% say this is very vital to their vote), fitness care (79%), and abortion (75%).

Republican voters are somewhat less likely than Democratic backers to say the future of democracy is very important to their vote (70% say this), but they are far less likely than Democratic voters to view health care (42%) or abortion (39%) as very important to their vote. Climate change also rates highly for Democratic supporters, with about two-thirds (68%) saying it is very important to their vote. Only 9% of Republican voters say the same.

The problem of abortion

The difficulty of abortion rose sharply in perceived significance after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. Between March and August, the share of registered voters who rated abortion as a very essential election trouble spiked thirteen proportion points, from 43% to 56%. That share held consistent via the fall: As of October, 56% of registered voters say abortion will be very vital to their midterm vote.

The expansion in the situation has been pushed generally by using Democratic registered voters: 75% rated abortion as very necessary in the current survey, little modified from August (71%) however up from 46% in March. About four-in-ten Republican registered voters (39%) stated in October that abortion is a very necessary problem for their vote, roughly identical to the 41% who stated this in August and the 40% who stated this in March.

Voter motivation

As of a few weeks earlier than the midterms, almost the same majority of voters for candidates in each event stated they have been “extremely” or “very” inspired to vote. In the October survey, eight-in-ten registered voters who aid Republican candidates stated they had been incredibly prompted to do so, as did 79% of those who guide Democrats.

Voter motivation differed via race and ethnicity at that stage of the election: 76% of White voters stated they have been extraordinarily or very inspired to vote, in contrast with 63% of Black voters, 57% of Hispanic voters, and 55% of Asian American voters. Differences by way of age team existed as well: 84% of these while sixty-five and older stated they have been extraordinarily or very influenced to vote, in contrast with solely about 1/2 (51%) of voters a long time 18 to 29.

Which party wins control of Congress

Roughly two-thirds of registered voters say it “really matters” which party wins control of Congress, on par with the share of voters who stated this in the run-up to the 2018 election. Since the spring, voters who aid Republican candidates have been modestly greater possibly than those who help Democrats to say which party wins control of Congress in this election matters. As of October, 76% of Republican backers and 72% of voters who guide Democratic candidates say this. Republican voters are additionally plenty greater probable than Democratic voters to say they have thought a lot about the upcoming election (49% vs. 38%).

In general, voters give this election cycle’s candidates low marks for explaining their plans for the country.
Just 23% of registered voters say Republican candidates have finished extraordinarily or very properly explaining their plans or visions for the country, whilst 19% say the identical about Democratic candidates, as of the October survey.

While large majorities of voters in both parties say the opposing party has not done well in explaining their plans, fewer than half of voters who support Republicans (39%) say GOP candidates have done extremely or very well in explaining their plans; just 32% of Democratic voters say the same about Democratic candidates.

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