New Polling Confirms: Abortion Drove Voter Choice and Motivation, Led to Big Midterm Wins for Democrats
For Immediate Release: Friday, November 11, 2022
Contact: [email protected]
More than half of voters polled ages 18-34 said abortion played a larger role in their voting decisions than it had in past elections
Washington, DC — Today, NARAL Pro-Choice America released new post-election polling, conducted by Impact Research, that affirmed the central role that abortion played in the midterm elections. This research captured insights from voters in the key battleground states Arizona, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Wisconsin, and found that abortion was at the top of people’s minds as they voted for Democrats. The research confirmed that reproductive freedom was a critical mobilization and persuasion issue for Democrats.
In response to these results, NARAL Pro-Choice America President Mini Timmaraju released the following statement:
“Voters sent a clear message to all elected officials at the ballot box last Tuesday: If you like your job, don’t tread on our reproductive freedom. This polling further proves a political reality that NARAL and our partners have known for years: abortion is a winning issue and will continue to be in elections to come. That means Democrats need to keep reproductive freedom at the top of their policy agenda and fight to not only codify Roe but expand access to abortion and birth control.”
Key findings include:
- Abortion mattered. Abortion was top of voters’ minds as they voted in the midterms. It was the dominant reason that people who voted for Democrats decided to do so. Across battleground states, 45% of voters say that abortion played a larger role in their voting decisions than it had in past elections, including 64% of voters who voted for a Democrat for Senate and/or governor this year, 52% of Black voters, and 51% of voters 18-34.
- Abortion has the power to continue to drive votes in future elections. A majority (52%) of voters are concerned that Republicans will try to ban abortion care, including 74% of Black voters and 53% of non-Democrats who voted Democratic in the midterms. A plurality (48%) are less likely to support Republicans if they attempt to ban abortion care, including 82% of voters who voted for Democrats in the midterms, 59% of Black voters, 51% of AAPI voters, 47% of Hispanic voters, and 47% of voters 18-34.
- Most voters recall receiving communications about abortion. The issue penetrated, and a majority of voters saw TV and digital ads and received mail on the issue. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of voters saw TV ads about the candidates’ positions on abortion—including 70% of AAPI voters, 68% of Black voters, and 65% of Hispanic voters—52% received mail, and 51% saw online ads.
- Voters want to see Congress protect abortion rights, not ban abortion. A strong majority of voters (54%)—and nearly two-thirds of Black voters (65%)—want to see Congress pass a national law allowing patients and doctors to decide what is best during pregnancy, while just 14% want Congress to prioritize a 15-week ban on abortion.
- Voters overwhelmingly believe that women and their doctors, not politicians, should be making decisions about abortion. 75% of voters, including 96% of Democrats, 74% of Independents, and 56% of Republicans, believe women and doctors —not politicians and judges—should be making decisions about abortion.
This polling follows NARAL’s largest-ever midterm electoral program to elect champions up and down the ballot during this critical moment in the fight for reproductive freedom. The program focuses on deep field investments in phone banking, door knocking, youth organizing, and canvassing, along with a robust communications campaign to support endorsed candidates and ballot initiatives in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, California, Arizona, and Nevada. Key components of our midterm campaign include:
- Harnessing the full power of our 4 million members to mobilize their communities through traditional organizing tactics. In total, we knocked on over 330,000 doors, made nearly 707,000 calls, sent over 868,000 texts, and filled over 4,860 volunteer shifts.
- Continuing to broaden the impact of our cutting-edge research into voter sentiment on abortion, including our pioneering freedom-centered messaging, by training candidates, volunteers, and activists to speak to their communities in ways we know align with their values and move them to act on their beliefs.
- Rolling out a pilot program in Michigan with 14 organizers working on seven four-year college campuses and over 20 community college campuses to enroll voters and activate over 721 volunteers.
- Endorsing candidates in over 200 races nationwide for federal and state offices.
- NARAL, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and EMILY’s List announced a partnership in May to collectively spend a historic $150 million on the 2022 midterms to elect reproductive freedom champions up and down the ballot across the country.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, pregnancy and post-partum care, and paid family leave—for every body. NARAL is powered by its 4 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support legal abortion.