MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds little evidence that partisan motivation to vote in the 2022 elections has been altered by the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which had established a right to an abortion. There has been much speculation that this June decision, in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, would change the November outlook.
Yet a comparison of the Marquette Law School Poll’s May and July national survey data finds few elements of change in motivation to vote or in vote choice, despite a substantial drop in public approval of the Court’s handling of its job and a majority of the public opposed to the Court’s decision in Dobbs.
Approval of the Supreme Court’s job performance fell to 38% in July, down from 44% in May and 54% in March. In July, 36% favored the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and 64% opposed that decision, among those with an opinion. (Those particular and certain other data about public views of the Court from this July survey were released yesterday, July 20, and can be found on the Marquette Law School Poll website; this release provides further results of the same survey on national topics.)
However, whether measured by enthusiasm about voting in November or the certainty of voting, there has been only a slight overall change in motivation among registered voters, as shown in Table 1. (All results in the tables are stated as percentages; the precise wording of the questions can be found in the online link noted above.)
Table 1: Enthusiasm about voting and certainty of voting, among registered voters, May-July 2022
(a) Enthusiasm about voting in November
|Poll dates||Very enthusiastic||Somewhat enthusiastic||Not too enthusiastic||Not at all enthusiastic|
(b) Certainty to vote in November
|Poll dates||Absolutely certain to vote||Very likely to vote||Chances are 50-50||Don’t think will vote|
The latest Marquette Law School Poll Supreme Court survey was conducted July 5-12, 2022, shortly after the last decisions of the October 2021 Supreme Court term were released. The survey interviewed 1,003 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. The sample includes 853 registered voters, with a margin of error of +/-4.3 percentage points.
The July results show that Republicans have slightly increased their advantage over Democrats in enthusiasm and projected turnout, compared to May, as shown in Table 2. In July, the percentage of Republicans very enthusiastic to vote rose 8 percentage points, while enthusiasm rose 3 percentage points among Democrats. Similarly, the percentage saying they are certain to vote in November rose 5 percentage points among Republicans but 2 percentage points among Democrats.
The enthusiasm gap between the parties is a substantial 18-percentage-point Republican advantage, while the certainty of voting shows a smaller 5-point Republican edge.
(a) Enthusiasm about voting in November
|Party ID||Poll dates||Very enthusiastic||Somewhat enthusiastic||Not too enthusiastic||Not at all enthusiastic|
(b) Certainty to vote in November
|Party ID||Poll dates||Absolutely certain to vote||Very likely to vote||Chances are 50-50||Don’t think will vote|
There is also little change in enthusiasm or certainty of voting based on whether the respondent favors or opposes the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, as shown in Table 3. Among either those in favor or those opposed to overturning Roe, there was no change between May and July in the percentage who are very enthusiastic about voting. There were a very small increase in certainty of voting for those in favor of overturning Roe and a slight decline in certainty to vote for those opposed to overturning Roe.
Leaving aside the change: By either measure, enthusiasm or certainty of voting, those who favor the decision to overturn Roe are more motivated to vote in the fall elections.
Table 3: Enthusiasm about voting and certainty of voting, by favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, among registered voters, May-July 2022
(a) Enthusiasm about voting in November
|Overturn Roe||Poll dates||Very enthusiastic||Somewhat enthusiastic||Not too enthusiastic||Not at all enthusiastic|
|Favor overturn Roe||5/9-19/22||60||28||10||2|
|Favor overturn Roe||7/5-12/22||60||19||18||3|
|Oppose overturn Roe||5/9-19/22||40||32||22||5|
|Oppose overturn Roe||7/5-12/22||40||28||23||9|
(b) Certainty to vote in November
|Overturn Roe||Poll dates||Absolutely certain to vote||Very likely to vote||Chances are 50-50||Don’t think will vote|
|Favor overturn Roe||5/9-19/22||74||14||11||0|
|Favor overturn Roe||7/5-12/22||76||13||6||4|
|Oppose overturn Roe||5/9-19/22||66||20||11||2|
|Oppose overturn Roe||7/5-12/22||63||16||13||8|
Those saying abortion is one of the most important issues increased by only 3 percentage points from May to July, as shown in Table 4.
Table 4: Importance of the abortion issue, among registered voters, May-July 2022
|Poll dates||One of the most important issues||Somewhat important||Not very important||Not important at all|
There were similarly small changes by partisanship, as shown in Table 5. Democrats are much more likely to rate abortion as one of the most important issues than are Republicans and independents, but there has been little change in opinion on importance of the issue since May.
|Party ID||Poll dates||One of the most important issues||Somewhat important||Not very important||Not important at all|
A bare majority, statistically rounded to 50%, say they would vote for a candidate who favors keeping abortion legal, while 33% would vote for a candidate who favors strictly limiting abortion and 17% say the abortion issue would not matter to them. Table 6 shows little change in vote choice based on the abortion issue from May to July.
|Poll dates||The candidate who favors keeping abortion legal||The candidate who favors strictly limiting abortion||The abortion issue would not matter to me|
Table 7 shows that vote preference has remained divided but stable, among partisan groups, while independents have become somewhat less supportive of candidates who support abortion rights, from May to July.
Table 7: Vote based on candidate abortion position, by party identification, among registered voters, May-July 2022
|Party ID||Poll dates||The candidate who favors keeping abortion legal||The candidate who favors strictly limiting abortion||The abortion issue would not matter to me|
Preferences on abortion policy
Asked their preference for policy on abortion, 28% say abortion should be legal in all cases, 36% say legal in most cases, 27% say it should be illegal in most cases, and 8% say illegal in all cases. Here and in subsequent tables, the results are for all adults, rather than for only registered voters as above in discussing motivation to vote and vote choice.
Those who say abortion should be legal in all cases or who say it should be illegal in all cases are the most likely to say it is one of the most important issues to them, while those saying legal in most or illegal in most cases are both half as likely (as the “all” groups) to say it is one of the most important issues. The relationship between policy preference and importance of the issue is shown in Table 8.
|Policy on abortion||One of the most important issues||Somewhat important||Not very important||Not important at all|
|Legal in all cases||63||30||4||3|
|Legal in most cases||31||46||17||5|
|Illegal in most cases||30||44||18||7|
|Illegal in all cases||64||27||3||3|
There has been little change in preference for abortion policy by party identification since Roe was overturned on June 24. Table 9 shows policy preference, by partisan groups, in May and July. A majority of Republicans say it should be illegal in all or most cases, while majorities of independents and Democrats say it should be legal in all or most cases, with an especially large majority among Democrats. Support for legal abortion declined by 10 percentage points among independents from May to July.
Table 9: Policy preference on abortion, by party identification, among adults, May-July 2022
|Party ID||Poll dates||Legal in all cases||Legal in most cases||Illegal in most cases||Illegal in all cases|
Policy preferences are sensitive to the specific limitations proposed on abortion. Several state legislatures have enacted or debated laws that would ban abortions (with some exceptions) at various stages of pregnancy. The survey asked a series of questions about support for or opposition to bans along the lines of these state proposals. Each question included an exception for “medical emergencies.”
The question asked:
Here are some limits on when during pregnancy an abortion might be banned, except in cases of medical emergencies, that some states are considering. How much do you favor or oppose each of these proposals?
The results for the five alternative policies presented are shown in Table 10. There is majority opposition to a ban at all times (“any time during pregnancy” in table) or a ban after 6 weeks, and an even divide on a ban after 15 weeks. A majority favor a ban after six months, and a majority oppose abortions being legal at all times (“No restrictions at any point” in table). None of the differences between May and July are statistically significant.
|Ban when||Poll dates||Favor||Oppose|
|Ban at any time during pregnancy||5/9-19/22||27||72|
|Ban at any time during pregnancy||7/5-12/22||30||69|
|Ban after 6 weeks||5/9-19/22||34||65|
|Ban after 6 weeks||7/5-12/22||40||59|
|Ban after 15 weeks||5/9-19/22||50||49|
|Ban after 15 weeks||7/5-12/22||53||46|
|Ban after 6 months||5/9-19/22||65||35|
|Ban after 6 months||7/5-12/22||66||33|
|No restrictions at any point||5/9-19/22||39||60|
|No restrictions at any point||7/5-12/22||41||58|
Some states have considered legislation that would make it illegal for a woman to have an abortion by traveling to a different state where abortion is legal. This policy is favored by 21% of respondents and is opposed by 78%. There has been little change on this, as shown in Table 11.
Majorities of all partisan groups say states should not be able to restrict out-of-state travel to obtain abortions. There has been little change in opinion on this issue among partisan groups from May to July, as shown in Table 12.
|Party ID||Poll dates||Yes||No|
The potential for states to make it illegal to get and fill prescriptions from out-of-state providers for medication that induces an abortion is favored by 26% and opposed by 73%. This question was not asked previously.
As with out-of-state travel for abortions, this possible legal restriction shows a sharp divide by party, as seen in Table 13, though a majority of each partisan group oppose such restrictions.
Table 13: Should a state be able to make it illegal for a woman to get and fill a prescription from out-of-state providers for medication that will induce an abortion, by party identification, among adults, July 2022
January 6 Committee hearings
Among adults, 43% say they have heard a lot about the January 6 Committee hearings, 38% have heard a little, and 19% have heard nothing at all. For comparison, 81% have heard a lot about the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, and 47% have heard a lot about the Court’s ruling that the Second Amendment includes the right to possess a firearm outside the home.
Table 14 shows that Democrats have been more attentive to the January 6 Committee hearings than have Republicans or independents, though a large majority of each group has heard at least “a little.”
|Party ID||A lot||A little||Nothing at all|
Fifty-two percent say that former President Donald Trump bears “a lot” of responsibility for the violence on January 6, while 18% say “a little” and 30% say he has no responsibility at all for the violence. Those who have heard a lot about the January 6 Committee hearings say Trump is more responsible than do those who have heard little or nothing about the hearings, as shown in Table 15.
|Heard about Jan. 6 Committee||A lot of responsibility||A little responsibility||None at all|
|A little or none||40||25||35|
While partisans differ in their attention to the hearings, and in their views of Trump, those who have heard a lot about the hearings assign greater responsibility for violence to Trump than do those who have heard less, though the partisan gap remains very large, as shown in Table 16.
|Party ID||Heard about Jan. 6 Committee||A lot of responsibility||A little responsibility||None at all|
|Republican||A little or none||6||26||68|
|Independent||A little or none||39||32||30|
|Democrat||A little or none||81||10||10|
The public is evenly divided on the evidence presented by the January 6 Committee, with 52% saying it has been convincing and 48% saying it has not been convincing. Partisan differences are quite large in this case, as shown in Table 17.
|Party ID||Has been convincing||Has not been convincing|
As with views of Trump’s responsibility, those who have heard a lot about the hearings are more likely to say the evidence is convincing, in every partisan group, though the partisan differences remain large, as shown in Table 18.
|Party ID||Heard about Jan. 6 Committee||Has been convincing||Has not been convincing|
|Republican||A little or none||12||88|
|Independent||A little or none||40||60|
|Democrat||A little or none||68||32|
There has been little net change in favorability ratings of Trump since the hearings began. In July, 34% had a favorable view of Trump, compared to 35% who were favorable in May. There is little difference in favorability among partisans based on how much they have heard of the hearings, though independents who have heard a lot are somewhat less favorable to Trump as shown in Table 19.
|Party ID||Heard about Jan. 6 Committee||Favorable opinion||Unfavorable opinion||Haven’t heard enough|
|Republican||A little or none||81||15||4|
|Independent||A little or none||31||60||9|
|Democrat||A little or none||9||88||2|
Thirty-four percent in July say they would like Trump to run again for president, little changed from 33% in May.
Approval of how President Joe Biden is handling his job as president has declined in July to 36%, down from 42% in May. This is the lowest approval for Biden in the Marquette Law School Poll national surveys. The full trend of Biden approval is shown in Table 20.
Table 20: Approval of Biden job performance, among adults, July 2021-July 2022
Biden has seen approval ratings decline among Democrats and especially among independents, while Republicans have maintained high levels of disapproval.
|Party ID||Poll dates||Approve||Disapprove|
Biden’s approval rating has also declined among white, Black, and Hispanic respondents, as shown in Table 22. The table demonstrates a steady decline among white and Black respondents since July 2021. Among Hispanic respondents, approval remained relatively stable until this survey, dropping sharply in July 2022, to 37%.
|Race and Hispanic origin||Poll dates||Approve||Disapprove|
About the Marquette Law School Poll
The survey was conducted July 5-12, 2022, interviewing 1,003 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-4 percentage points. Interviews were conducted using the SSRS Opinion Panel, a national probability sample with interviews conducted online. The detailed methodology statement, survey instrument, topline results, and crosstabs for this release are available at https://law.marquette.edu/poll/category/results-and-data/.