Poll: Two-thirds of Americans back Roe, less likely to vote for abortion foes | Thursday Coffee

The new Quinnipiac survey is a warning for pols who want to restrict abortion rights

May 19, 2022 7:18 am
abortion protest capitol

Hundreds of protesters rally in Harrisburg on Saturday, May 14, 2022, to promote abortion access (Capital-Star photo).

Good Thursday Morning, Fellow Seekers.

No matter what happens in Pennsylvania’s high-drama fight for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate, GOP primary voters will pick a candidate who’s opposed to abortion rights.

And while the majority of the GOP base may cheer that, a new nationwide Quinnipiac University poll tells a more complicated story about public support for abortion rights, and the role the issue will play at the polls in November.

First up, the top line: Two-thirds of Americans (65 percent) agree with Roe v. Wade, in the new poll, which is similar to a November 2021 Quinnipiac poll, where 63 percent responded the same way.

And now the potential electoral cost for politicians who move to constrain abortion access.

Nearly half of all American voters surveyed for the new poll (47 percent) say they’re less likely to vote for a U.S. House or Senate hopeful who opposes abortion rights. A nearly equal number, 41 percent, said they’d be more inclined to vote for a U.S. House or Senate hopeful who supports abortion access.

In both cases, about a third of respondents said a candidate’s support or opposition of abortion rights won’t make any difference in the way they vote, the poll found.

The poll result also comes as the nation braces for a U.S. Supreme Court decision next month that could well end up toppling Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide, sending the issue back to state governments.

Despite that widespread public support, 13 states have so-called ‘trigger laws’ that will ban abortion if the high court overturns Roeaccording to CNN.

In all, 23 states have laws aiming to limit access to abortion, including some states with multiple provisions, CNN reported, citing an analysis by the Guttmacher Institute.

A view of the front portico of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.

With all the nation’s eyes on the court, nearly seven in 10 nationwide respondents (69-27 percent) support limits on how long a sitting justice can sit on the high court.

There’s majority support among all parties: Democrats backed it 77-18 percent. So did independents, 69-27 percent, and Republicans, 61-36 percent, according to the poll.

And in a reminder of the blow these partisan times have dealt to the court’s prestige, nearly two-thirds of respondents (63 percent) said the nation’s highest court is mostly driven by politics, compared to the not quite a third (32 percent) who said it’s mostly driven by the law.

Opinions cleaved along party lines, with 86 percent of self-identified Democratic respondents and 63 percent of independents saying the court is mostly driven by politics, compared to 53 percent of Republicans who said it’s mostly driven by the law, pollsters found.

Quinnipiac pollsters interviewed 1,586 adults nationwide from May 12 to May 16, for a margin of error of 2.5 percent. The survey included 1,421 registered voters, where the margin of error was 2.6 percent.

Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman [Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller]

Our Stuff.

When the General Assembly returns to session next week, John Fetterman, who suffered a stroke last week, and underwent a procedure to receive a pacemaker on Tuesday, will resume his post as lieutenant governorMarley Parish reports.

Benjamin Waxman, a former journalist turned political activist, has won the Democratic primary for the Philadelphia-based 182nd House District, a seat currently held by state Rep., and failed lieutenant governor hopeful, Brian SimsCassie Miller reports.

Pennsylvania Democrats really want to run against Doug Mastriano for governor. They may end up regretting it, I write in a new column.

 Republican congressional candidate Lisa Scheller is likely headed to a rematch with incumbent U.S. Rep. Susan Wild, D-7th District, with unofficial results showing her in the lead for her party’s nomination in a close race in Tuesday’s primary, our partners at Armchair Lehigh Valley report.

On our Commentary Page this morning: Some 68 years after Brown v. Board, similar foes continue stubbornly fighting progressMark McCormick, the former executive director of the Kansas African American Museum, writes in a column first published by our sibling site, the Kansas Reflector. And with the Legislature set to return to session next week, adult victims of child sex abuse deserve a fair shot at justicePatrick Beaty, of FairDistricts PA writes.

(Getty Images).

The Inquirer explains how Lt. Gov. John Fetterman dominated, then won, the Democratic U.S. Senate primary.

The Post-Gazette takes you inside the Lancaster County operation where 16,000 ballots are being processed that could determine the Republican Senate nomination.

Can Doug Mastriano broaden his appeal for the general election? PennLive takes up the question.

He may have nabbed the coveted endorsement, but former President Donald Trump and his top aides privately disparaged Doug MastrianoPolitico reports.

PoliticsPA explains what you need to know about recounts in Pennsylvania.

City & State Pa. runs down the latest congressional vote counts.

A local Oath Keepers leader has won a seat on Lancaster County’s Republican CommitteeLancasterOnline reports.

The Morning Call breaks down the vote in the Lehigh Valley primary.

Luzerne County has finished counting its mail-in ballots, the Citizens’ Voice reports.

The Central Bucks School Districhas now made classes about puberty optional and virtual, WHYY-FM reports, The district was criticized for telling school counselors to divide elementary  school students by their assigned sex at birth, and not their gender identity, for those classes.

A Pennsylvania judge has temporarily halted the Wolf administration’s bridge-tolling plan, the Associated Press reports (via WITF-FM).

Here’s your #Pennsylvania Instagram of the Day:


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What Goes On
10 a.m., Main Rotunda: Star of Life EMS Awards
10 a.m., 333 Market St: Independent Regulatory Review Commission3:45 p.m., Wellsboro, Pa.: Center for Rural Pennsylvania

What Goes On (Nakedly Political Edition)
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Westmoreland County Commissioner Sean Kertes
5:30 p.m.: Reception for Sen. Vincent Hughes
6 p.m.: Reception for Pa. Senate candidate Jessica Florio
Ride the circuit, and give at the max, and you’re out a mildly ridiculous $8,500 today.

Gov. Tom Wolf heads to Philadelphia this morning for an 8:30 a.m. event celebrating the 300th anniversary of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

You Say It’s Your Birthday Dept
Best wishes go out this morning to David Taylor, of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers Association, who celebrates another trip around the sun today. Congratulations, sir. Enjoy the day.

Heavy Rotation
Here’s a fun one to get your Thursday off to an appropriately raucous start. It’s Pacific Avenue, and ‘Give it up for Yourself.’

Thursday’s Gratuitous Hockey Link
After a sleepy, first 40 minutes, the Carolina Hurricanes’ offense woke up in the third period on Wednesday night. The ‘Canes ended up beating the New York Rangers 2-1 in overtime, winning Game 1 of their second round NHL playoff series. And Calgary topped Edmonton 9-6, taking a 1-0 lead in their Battle of Alberta playoff series.

And now you’re up to date.

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John L. Micek

A three-decade veteran of the news business, John L. Micek is the Pennsylvania Capital-Star's former Editor-in-Chief.