Republicans Hold Midterm Enthusiasm Edge, While Democrats Gain Ground

The news of the Supreme Court’s apparent intention to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that’s enshrined abortion rights at the national level is revving up Democrats’ intensity for midterm voting, Morning Consult / Politico tracking suggests, but Republicans remain more enthusiastic about voting in November’s contests that will decide who controls the House and the Senate beyond 2022.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about the midterms
  • Since an April 29-May 2 survey conducted before Politico published Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion revealing that the court’s conservative majority had voted to overturn Roe, the share of Democratic voters who said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic to vote in the midterm elections increased from 48% to 54%, while Republican excitement increased from 59% to 61%.
  • Democrats’ increased eagerness to vote was propelled by women: 51% of female Democrats said they are at least very enthusiastic to vote this November, up 11 points over the week and at its highest point since weekly tracking began in September.
The context

The figures paint only an early picture of the potential impact Roe’s dissolution could have on 2022’s political landscape: The court has issued no official ruling, meaning services are still in place in states where they are offered, and many Americans have yet to hear the news . But at this point, the data does not suggest that abortion will upend the midterm dynamic in a decisive way.

According to the latest survey, 36% of voters said they had seen, read or heard “a lot” about the draft opinion, up from 23% in a survey conducted the day after Politico revealed Alito’s document. As is often the caseDemocrats (44%) were more likely than Republicans (31%) to report hearing “a lot” about the news.

The share of voters who heard a lot about the draft abortion ruling is slightly less than the portion who said the same about news on inflation, and survey data continues to show that the economy is the dominant midterm issue for voters, despite a recent increase in prioritization of reproductive health care.

Abortion is rising as an issue, but it’s trumped by the economy
  • Another Morning Consult survey, conducted May 5-9, found 79% of voters say the economy is “very important” to them when deciding whom to vote for in the 2022 elections, in line with its standing since mid-February.
  • The share of voters who say abortion is “very important” when thinking about their vote in November increased from 47% to 52% over the course of a week, including a 9-point bump among Democrats, to 64%.
  • According to the Morning Consult / Politico survey, 1 in 5 Democratic voters now identify matters such as birth control, abortion and equal pay as their top issue when thinking about their vote for federal office, up from 10% before Alito’s draft opinion leaked.

The latest Morning Consult / Politico survey was conducted May 6-9. 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered US voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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