Terra Goodnight · June 30, 2022
As part of our ongoing effort to understand the electorate, Innovation Ohio polled Ohio voters about recent leaked news that the US Supreme Court would soon overturn the Roe vs Wade precedent that made the right to an abortion the law of the land and found a growing level of concern and motivation to vote.1
In polls conducted in late April2 and again in early June – before and after the news leaked – we saw significant shifts in the number of voters who ranked abortion care as one of the top issues facing Ohioans. In our June poll, conducted before Friday’s official ruling, 15% of Ohio voters ranked abortion as one of the top 3 issues facing Ohioans, out of a list of 17 possible options. This is up significantly from 8% a month earlier, before rumors about the ruling emerged. Clearly, voters were increasingly focused on threats to abortion rights even before we heard from the court last week.
We also saw that some groups of voters are more tuned into the abortion debate than others. The share of Black voters ranking abortion as a top issue in our poll in June was up by 14% compared to a month earlier. Other groups that showed big jumps in concern included Democrats (up 14%), young voters (up 12%), college voters (up 11%) and women (up 10%). Abortion now ranks as a top 3 concern for Democrats and young voters between the ages of 18 and 34.
Another key question is whether this increased focus on abortion rights will lead to more urgency to vote in November. When we asked the question in early June, after the rumors surfaced, 58% of Ohioans told us that the rumor made them more motivated to vote in the fall. This was true of 80% of voters identifying as Democrats, compared to 48% of Republicans. 67% of Black voters, 64% of voters with a college degree and 62% of women say the news makes them more motivated to vote, compared to 57% of white voters, 55% of non-college voters and 53% of men, respectively.
Now that the ruling is a reality, we will be conducting additional research to see how attitudes have shifted, if at all.
Tagged in these Policy Areas: 2022 Election Hub