The old conventional wisdom was that talking about abortion hurt Democrats. That conventional wisdom was wrong then and it is most certainly wrong today.
Over the last few months, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in attacks on abortion access in this country. This is the endgame of a decades-long campaign by the anti-choice movement and their allies in Washington. Overall, 30 bans on abortion have been introduced, passed, or signed into law in statehouses around the country this year alone, signifying an all-out assault on abortion access.
Recent polling has shown that this outright assault on abortion access is backfiring. Polling clearly shows that the vast majority of Americans support legal access to abortion and do not want extreme bans on abortion, and the 2020 Democratic field reflects mainstream American values on this key issue.
- A recent PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll showed that if Republicans continue with their attacks on reproductive freedom, it could shift independent voters toward the Democrats ahead of 2020. According to the poll, 77% of Americans support Roe v. Wade.
- Extreme bans on abortion are already a motivator for Democrats. A May CBS News pollfound that 63% of women Clinton voters say abortion issues will be very important to their presidential vote next year.
- This follows with Morning Consult polling showing that issues surrounding reproductive freedom like abortion and birth control are increasingly salient for Democratic voters as well as independent women and 18 to 29 year-olds. The importance of the issue among Democratic and independent-leaning women in particular has spiked 8 points since May.
- The intensity gap is with us— a HuffPost/YouGov poll found that while less than a fifth of Americans strongly support Alabama’s new total ban on abortion, 43% of Americans strongly disapprove of this ban. And less than a quarter of Americans support making it a crime for a doctor to perform an abortion, according to the PBS Newshour/NPR/Marist poll.
- Overall, these extreme bans on abortion just aren’t popular. Recent CBS News polling confirmed once again that the vast majority of Americans want to keep Roe v. Wade intact — including 87% of Democrats. And Reuters/Ipsos polling found that a strong majority of Americans, including over 80% of Democrats —believe that abortion should remain legal in all or most cases.