Sixty percent of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a 5-point percentage increase since March, according to a Wall Street Journal poll released Saturday.
Abortion access has risen as an important issue ahead of the midterm elections after the Supreme Court in June decided to end the constitutional right to an abortion.
The survey found:
- 29% said abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, except in cases of rape, incest and when the woman’s life is endangered, compared with 30% in March
- 6% said it should be illegal in all cases, down from 11% in March
- More than 50% of voters said the ruling made them more motivated to vote in the midterm elections, including 75% of Democrats
- 48% of voters said Democrats were best able to handle abortion policy, compared with 27% who said Republicans; 41% of independents said they trust Democrats most to handle abortion policy
- Support for abortion in most or all cases rose among Catholics to 59%, up from 45% in March
- Support from Black voters was at 69%, up from 59%
- Among Democrats, 92% said abortion should be legal in all or most cases and 6% said it should be illegal except in some cases, such as rape, incest and when the woman's life is endangered
- With Republicans, 27% said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, 56% said it should be illegal except in limited cases and 11% said it should be illegal in all cases.
"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," said Republican pollster Tony Fabrizio.
Democratic pollster Molly Murphy, whose firm conducted the poll with Fabrizio, said abortion has become a major issue because of the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"Abortion is not an issue that most people, prior to Dobbs, spent a lot of time thinking about," said Murphy. "What Dobbs has done is one, we've had a national conversation about it. Two, it has gone from hypothetical to real."
The WSJ poll surveyed 1,313 registered voters from Aug. 17-25.
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