Support for abortion rights hits a new high as the medium-term prospects for Democrats look bleak

Abortion rights activists take part in a demonstration in Washington, May 14, 2022, after the leaked Supreme Court opinion raised the possibility of overturning the Roe v. Wade had suggested.

Amira Karaoud | Reuters

WASHINGTON — Support for abortion rights has hit an all-time high, and nearly two-thirds of Americans are opposed to the U.S. Supreme Court, the Roe v. Wade overturns constitutional abortion rights.

In addition, the poll finds that abortion is moving up the list of issues Americans consider most important, and that Democrats’ interest in the upcoming midterms has increased since the beginning of this year.

But the poll also found that this draft Supreme Court opinion hasn’t significantly changed the broader political landscape ahead of November’s election — inflation and the economy remain the public’s top issues, President Joe Biden’s job rating falls below 40 percent and a whopping 75 percent of Americans say the country is going in the wrong direction.

It is the fourth consecutive NBC News poll with an error rate above 70 percent and the fifth time in the poll’s 34-year history when the error rate reached 75 percent or more.

The other times were 2008 (during the Great Recession) and 2013 (during a government shutdown).

“It’s a blinking red light when you see a number like that,” said Republican pollster Bill McInturff of Public Opinion Strategies, who conducted the poll with Democratic pollster Jeff Horwitt of Hart Research Associates.

“Americans tell us this is as bad as 2008,” McInturff added.

But given those numbers, Democrats are still tied with Republicans in the poll to determine which party should control Congress.

“It is noteworthy that overall preference for control of Congress is even and that the gap in interest in the election has narrowed,” said Horwitt, the Democratic pollster.

Six out of ten say abortion should be legal

According to the poll, a total of 60 percent of Americans say abortion should either always be legal (37 percent) or legal most of the time (23 percent) — with the highest proportion believing it should be legal on this issue, which dates back to 2003.

In contrast, a total of 37 percent say abortion should be illegal either with exceptions (32 percent) or without exceptions (5 percent).

By party, 84 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of independents want abortion to be legal, versus just 33 percent of Republicans.

In addition, 63 percent of respondents opposed the Supreme Court accepting the Roe v. Wade of 1973, which establishes a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion for at least the first three months of pregnancy.

Thirty percent would support the court overturning the decision.

When this question was last asked in 2018, 71 percent said they opposed a Roe v. Wade, while 23 percent said they supported her.

And a majority of registered voters — 52 percent — say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who seeks to overthrow Roe v. Wade supported by the Supreme Court; 26 percent say they would rather vote for this candidate.

Biden’s job rating drops to 39 percent

The NBC News poll also found that 39 percent of Americans approve of President Biden’s job as president, versus 56 percent who say they disapprove.

While Biden’s approval rating is essentially unchanged from March’s poll – when it was 40 percent – the new number represents the lowest mark of his presidency.

Just 33 percent support Biden’s handling of the economy (unchanged from March), 41 percent support his handling of the Russia-Ukraine war (also unchanged), and 59 percent support the president’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic (up 8 points) . . Support for abortion rights hits a new high as the medium-term prospects for Democrats look bleak

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