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New Marquette Law School Poll national survey shows 40% rate abortion one of most important issues, with a larger percentage of Democrats than Republicans viewing it this way

Republicans are more enthusiastic about voting, and about half of Republicans say they are more likely to support a candidate Trump has endorsed, though 40% say it makes no difference

Please note: Complete Poll results and methodology information can be found online at law.marquette.edu/poll

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds 40% of adults nationwide say abortion is one of the most important issues to them, while 39% say it is somewhat important, and 21% say it is not very or not at all important.

Table 1 shows the full set of responses on the importance of abortion as an issue.

Table 1: Importance of abortion issue, May 2022

Poll datesOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
5/9-19/224039156

The latest Marquette Law School Poll’s Supreme Court survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, a week after a draft opinion that would overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion-rights precedent was leaked to the Politico news organization. The survey interviewed 1,004 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points.

A previous Marquette Law School Poll release yesterday, May 25, described other results of the new national survey; that release primarily focused on public opinion of the Supreme Court and of cases concerning abortion and other issues. This release provides further results of the same survey on national topics.

Table 2 shows the importance of abortion as an issue, by party identification. Democrats rank the issue as more important than do independents or Republicans. A quarter of Republicans and independents say abortion is not very or not at all important to them, while 14% of Democrats say this.

Table 2: Importance of abortion issue, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
Republican3144178
Independent38361510
Democrat4837122

Asked what public policy on abortion should be, 29% say abortion should be legal in all cases, 38% say legal in most cases, 24% say it should be illegal in most cases, and 8% say illegal in all cases.

Those who say abortion should be illegal in all cases are the most likely to say it is one of the most important issues to them, followed by those who say it should be legal in all cases. The middle categories, involving those who say abortion should be mostly legal or mostly illegal, have about half as many (or fewer) people who say the abortion issue is one of their most important issues as those in the other categories just described. The relationship between policy preference and opinion on importance of the issue is shown in Table 3.

Table 3: Opinion on importance of abortion issue, by policy preference on abortion, May 2022

Policy preference on abortionOne of the most important issuesSomewhat importantNot very importantNot important at all
Legal in all cases603054
Legal in most cases2446255
Illegal in most cases3247147
Illegal in all cases672057

While abortion policy is a highly polarizing issue among elected members of Congress and state legislatures, opinion is not as strongly divided by party among the public. Table 4 shows that, while substantial majorities of Democrats and independents say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, a substantial minority of Republicans also say it should be legal always or mostly. A majority of Republicans say it should always or mostly be illegal.

Table 4: Policy preference on abortion, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDLegal in all casesLegal in most casesIllegal in most casesIllegal in all cases
Republican10314414
Independent3540167
Democrat4443103

Policy preferences are sensitive to the specific limitations proposed on abortion. With the potential for Roe to be overturned, several state legislatures have enacted or debated laws that would ban abortions (in most cases, with some exceptions) at various stages of pregnancy. This survey asked a series of questions about support for or opposition to bans based on 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 are shown in Table 5. There is majority opposition to bans that would apply at any time or after 6 weeks, and an even divide on bans after 15 weeks. A majority favor bans after six months, and a majority oppose there being no restrictions on when a woman can obtain an abortion.

Table 5: Favor or oppose abortion bans, by when ban would take effect, May 2022

Ban whenFavorOppose
Ban at any time during pregnancy2772
Ban after 6 weeks3465
Ban after 15 weeks5049
Ban after 6 months6535
No restrictions at any point3960

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 22% of respondents nationwide and is opposed by 78%.

Opinion on making out-of-state travel for abortions illegal is shown by party identification in Table 6.

Table 6: Should states be able to make out-of-state travel for abortion illegal, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDYesNo
Republican3268
Independent1981
Democrat1486

Enthusiasm to vote

Looking ahead to the November elections, 37% say they are very enthusiastic about voting, 31% are somewhat enthusiastic, 22% are not too enthusiastic, and 10% are not at all enthusiastic to vote this fall.

Enthusiasm to vote varies by party, with Republicans most likely to say they are very enthusiastic, trailed by Democrats. Independents are much less enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is shown in Table 7 (a) for all adults and in Table 7 (b) for registered voters only.

Table 7: Enthusiasm to vote, by party identification, May 2022

(a) All adults

Party IDVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Republican5028193
Independent17232831
Democrat3437227

(b) Registered voters only

Party IDVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Republican5329162
Independent25252525
Democrat3937212

Enthusiasm measured by opinion on the importance of the abortion issue is shown in Table 8 for all adults and for registered voters. There are too few respondents who say the abortion issue is not important at all to reliably estimate results for that group, so they have been combined with those who say abortion is not very important in this table.

Table 8: Enthusiasm to vote, by opinion on importance of abortion issue, May 2022

(a) All adults

Importance of abortion issueVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
One of the most important issues4427208
Somewhat important30362311
Not very or not at all important35282413

(b) Registered voters only

Importance of abortion issueVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
One of the most important issues5127175
Somewhat important3537226
Not very or not at all important4331197

Enthusiasm to vote is shown by abortion policy preference in Table 9. Enthusiasm to vote is higher among those opposed to abortion than among those who favor legal abortions.

Table 9: Enthusiasm to vote, by abortion policy preference, May 2022

(a) All adults

Abortion policy preferenceVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Legal in all cases33302115
Legal in most cases3332279
Illegal in most cases4432168
Illegal in all cases5025196

(b) Registered voters only

Abortion policy preferenceVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Legal in all cases4030228
Legal in most cases3933235
Illegal in most cases4833135
Illegal in all cases5826151

Confidence in 2020 election and enthusiasm to vote

The matter of confidence and doubt in the accuracy of the 2020 election results continues to divide Americans. Among all adults, 57% are very or somewhat confident that the results of the 2020 election were accurate, while 43% are not too or not at all confident of this. The trend in election confidence is shown in Table 10, showing that confidence dropped by 6 percentage points from March to May.

Table 10: Confidence and doubt in 2020 election accuracy, trend, Sept. 2021-May 2022

Poll datesConfidentNot confident
9/7-16/216040
11/1-10/216535
1/10-21/226634
3/14-24/226337
5/9-19/225743

There are very large differences by partisanship, as shown in Table 11, with almost three-quarters of Republicans doubting the election result, nearly 90% of Democrats confident in the election accuracy, and independents evenly divided.

Table 11: Confidence in 2020 election accuracy, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDConfidentNot confident
Republican2773
Independent4752
Democrat8911

Doubt about the accuracy of the 2020 election results is associated with higher enthusiasm to vote among Republicans, but with lower enthusiasm to vote among Democrats and independents (who are combined here to provide sufficient observations for the comparison). Table 12 (a) shows the relationship between doubt in the election and enthusiasm among Republicans, and Table 12 (b) shows the relationship among Democrats and independents.

Table 12: Enthusiasm to vote, by confidence or doubt in 2020 election, May 2022

(a) Republicans

Confidence or doubtVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Confident3635235
Not confident5525172

(b) Democrats and independents

Confidence or doubtVery enthusiasticSomewhat enthusiasticNot too enthusiasticNot at all enthusiastic
Confident34352110
Not confident12273229

Vote choice and abortion policy

Respondents were asked:

Thinking about this year’s (2022) elections, if one candidate favors keeping abortion legal and widely available, and the other candidate favors strictly limiting abortion except to protect the mother’s life, which candidate would you support?

Among all respondents, 54% say they would support the candidate who favors keeping abortion legal, while 31% would support the candidate who favors strictly limiting abortion, The remaining 14% say the abortion issue would not matter to them.

The choice of candidates connected to positions on abortion is shown by party identification in Table 13. A majority of Republicans favor the candidate who would strictly limit abortions, while a similar majoriity of independents would favor the candidate who favors keeping abortion legal, as is also the case with a substantially larger majority of Democrats. There is broader salience of the issue among Democrats: Fewer Democrats say the abortion position of candidates would not matter to them than is the case for Republicans and independents.

Table 13: Candidate choice by party identification, May 2022

(a) All adults

Party IDThe candidate who favors keeping abortion legalThe candidate who favors strictly limiting abortionThe abortion issue would not matter to me
Republican255817
Independent562122
Democrat81127

(b) Registered voters only

Party IDThe candidate who favors keeping abortion legalThe candidate who favors strictly limiting abortionThe abortion issue would not matter to me
Republican265717
Independent532622
Democrat8397

Biden job approval

In the new Marquette Law School Poll nationwide survey, President Joe Biden’s job approval stands at 42% with disapproval at 57%. In March, approval was 44% and disapproval was 55%. The trend in Biden approval since July 2021, when the question was first asked, is shown in Table 14.

Table 14: Biden job approval trend, July 2021-May 2022

Poll datesApproveDisapprove
7/16-26/215842
9/7-16/214852
11/1-10/214951
1/10-21/224653
3/14-24/224455
5/9-19/224257

Favorability ratings

Favorability ratings of Biden, former President Donald Trump, former Vice President Mike Pence, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a likely candidate for president in 2024, are shown in Table 15.

Table 15: Favorability trends, 2021-2022

(a) Joe Biden

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/2145496
1/10-21/2245514
3/14-24/2244533
5/9-19/2240554

(b) Donald Trump

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/2132653
1/10-21/2232671
3/14-24/2236613
5/9-19/2235613

(c) Mike Pence

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
11/1-10/21295120
1/10-21/22285517
3/14-24/22315316
5/9-19/22255421

(d) Ron DeSantis

Poll datesFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
1/10-21/22223444
3/14-24/22253639
5/9-19/22243738

Favorability in May for each political figure, by party identification, is shown in Table 16, showing large differences by party. Independents are more likely to say they haven’t heard enough about Pence or DeSantis than are partisans of either party.

Table 16: Favorability by party identification, May 2022

(a) Joe Biden

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican7912
Independent33587
Democrat72225

(b) Donald Trump

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican75222
Independent21717
Democrat6913

(c) Mike Pence

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican493318
Independent114841
Democrat97515

(d) Ron DeSantis

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican561430
Independent112959
Democrat26137

Trump endorsements

Trump has endorsed candidates in state primaries across the country. Among Republicans, 49% say they are more likely to support a candidate whom Trump has endorsed, although almost as many, 40%, say his endorsement would make no difference in their vote. Another 11% say they would be less likely to vote for a Trump-backed candidate.

Almost half of independents, 46%, say a Trump endorsement would make no difference to them, and 41% say it would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, with just 12% saying they would be more likely. Almost all Democrats, 87%, say they are less likely to support a candidate Trump endorses. These results are shown in Table 17.

Table 17: More or less likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDMore likelyLess likelyNo difference
Republican491140
Independent124146
Democrat5878

Over 70% of each partisan category say they don’t know if Trump has endorsed a candidate in their state. Republicans and Democrats are almost equally likely to say Trump has endorsed a candidate, and independents are less likely to know of an endorsement.

Table 18: Think Trump has endorsed a state candidate, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDYes, has endorsedNo, has not endorsedDon’t know if he has endorsed
Republican22671
Independent13780
Democrat21970

Based on data reported by Ballotpedia.org as of May 19, Trump has not endorsed a candidate in 13 states plus the District of Columbia, endorsed one candidate in 11 states, endorsed two candidates in 13 states, and endorsed three or more candidates in 13 states. Endorsements for governor, senator, U.S. House of Representative, and other state offices are counted in this total.

Combining the endorsement data with the survey responses shows that where Trump has given more endorsements, respondents are more likely to be aware he has endorsed candidates in the state, and in states he has not endorsed, they are least likely to think he has endorsed someone. Table 19 shows the percent of respondents who think Trump has made an endorsement, by the number of endorsements reported by Ballotpedia.org.

Table 19: Think Trump has endorsed a state candidate, by number of endorsements in the state (including D.C.), May 2022

Number of endorsementsYes, has endorsedNo, has not endorsedDon’t know if he has endorsed
None41184
One91081
Two161074
Three or more34362

Among Republicans, about half say they are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Trump, but this percentage does not vary significantly by the number of candidates that Trump has endorsed in the state, as shown in Table 20.

Table 20: More or less likely to support a Trump-endorsed candidate, by number of endorsements in the state, among Republicans only, May 2022

Number of endorsementsMore likelyLess likelyNo difference
None55638
One531037
Two47845
Three or more461440

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 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 on the Marquette Law School Poll website. Some items from this survey that were focused on the Supreme Court were released one day ago (i.e., on May 24, 2022). That release is also available at the above link.

New Marquette Law School Poll finds sharp national downturn in overall approval—and greater partisan polarization in approval—of U.S. Supreme Court following leaked draft of opinion that would overturn Roe

MILWAUKEE – A new Marquette Law School Poll national survey finds approval of the U.S. Supreme Court has taken a sharp turn down, falling to 44%, with 55% disapproving of how the Court is handling its job. In March, 54% approved and 45% disapproved. Approval of the Court stood at 66% in September 2020, when 33% disapproved. As recently as July 2021, the Court had a 60% approval rating. Table 1 shows the trend in approval since September 2020.

Table 1: Court approval trend, Sept. 2020-May 2022

Poll datesApproveDisapprove
9/8-15/206633
7/16-26/216039
9/7-16/214950
11/1-10/215446
1/10-21/225246
3/14-24/225445
5/9-19/224455

The latest Marquette Law School Poll’s Supreme Court survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, a week after a draft opinion that would overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion rights precedent was leaked to the Politico news organization. The survey interviewed 1,004 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of +/-3.9 percentage points.

Approval dropped sharply in September 2021 after the Court earlier that month rejected a request to block enforcement of a Texas law, known as S.B. 8, which bans most abortions after cardiac activity can be detected, at around six weeks of pregnancy. Since September, approval had recovered about five percentage points, prior to this May decline.

The sharp decline in approval in May reflects a drop of 23 percentage points among Democrats and a 6-point fall among independents, while approval rose by 4 percentage points among Republicans. Compared to the results in March, approval of the Court is more sharply polarized along party lines than it was two months ago. There was a 42-percentage point gap in approval between Republicans and Democrats in May, compared to a gap of 15 points in March. Table 2 shows approval by party identification in the March and May surveys.

Table 2: Court approval by party identification, March and May 2022

(a) March 2022

Party IDApproveDisapprove
Republican6435
Independent4453
Democrat4951

(b) May 2022

Party IDApproveDisapprove
Republican6832
Independent3859
Democrat2673

Self-described ideology is strongly correlated with approval of the Court, and the correlation increased in polarization from March to May, as shown in Table 3. Approval of the Court’s handling of its job increased among those who describe themselves as very conservative or conservative, while it was reduced among those who consider themselves moderate, liberal, or very liberal. The difference in approval rate between the most conservative and most liberal respondents is now 66 percentage points, up from 36 percentage points in March.

Table 3: Court approval, by ideology, March and May 2022

(a) March 2022

IdeologyApproveDisapprove
Very conservative6535
Somewhat conservative6831
Moderate5840
Somewhat liberal4060
Very liberal2971

(b) May 2022

IdeologyApproveDisapprove
Very conservative7525
Somewhat conservative7227
Moderate3663
Somewhat liberal2872
Very liberal988

Public opinion on abortion issues

Opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade has not changed in the wake of the leaked draft opinion. Among those with an opinion on the issue, 31% favor overturning Roe, while 69% oppose striking it down, hardly changed since March when 32% were in favor and 68% were opposed. Table 4 shows the trend on this question since September 2019.

Table 4: Favor or oppose overturning Roe v. Wade, trend among those with an opinion, 2019-2022

Poll datesFavor overturningOppose overturning
9/3-13/193268
9/8-15/203763
9/7-16/212872
11/1-10/213070
1/10-21/222872
3/14-24/223268
5/9-19/223169

Opinion is evenly divided on a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy under a Mississippi law that is before the Court in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, with 51% in favor of upholding the law and 49% opposed, among those with an opinion. Since September 2021, views on this limitation on abortion have remained stable, as shown in Table 5, since the question was first asked.

Table 5: Favor or oppose upholding 15-week ban on abortion, trend among those with an opinion, Sept. 2021-May 2022

Poll datesFavorOppose
9/7-16/215446
11/1-10/215347
1/10-21/224951
5/9-19/225149

A large majority, 70%, oppose the Texas S.B. 8 law, which bans abortions after approximately six weeks of pregnancy and allows private citizens to sue those who assist someone seeking an abortion, while 30% favor the law. The Supreme Court has considered requests to block or strike down this law since August 2021 but has returned the case for consideration by lower courts, allowing it to remain in effect. There has been little change since November in views of this law, as shown in Table 6.

Table 6: Favor or oppose Texas S.B. 8 six-week ban on abortion, trend among those with an opinion, Sept. 2021-May 2022

Poll datesFavorOppose
9/7-16/213961
11/1-10/213070
1/10-21/222872
5/9-19/223070

Substantial partisan divides on each of the three abortion issues have changed little, the results of the new poll show. Table 7 shows views on overturning Roe, by party, in March and May 2022. While independents in May are 16 percentage points more opposed to overturning Roe than they were in March, the views of Republicans shifted by only 1 percentage point and Democrats did not shift at all.

Table 7: Favor overturning Roe, by party identification, March and May 2022

(a) March 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican6436
Independent3565
Democrat694

(b) May 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican6535
Independent1981
Democrat694

Opinions on the Mississippi 15-week ban have changed only slightly among any of the three partisan groups since January, with Republicans becoming 3 percentage points more favorable to the law and Democrats 3 percentage points more opposed. Independents have become 1 percentage point more opposed. Table 8 shows opinion by party for January and May 2022.

Table 8: Favor upholding 15-week ban in Dobbs, by party identification, Jan. and May 2022

(a) January 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican8119
Independent4654
Democrat2575

(b) May 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican8416
Independent4555
Democrat2278

Republican support of Texas S.B. 8 increased five percentage points from January, when the question was previously asked, to May. Meanwhile, opposition among independents increased 6 points and Democrats became 1 point less opposed. Table 9 shows opinion on this law by party identification.

Table 9: Favor 6-week ban in Texas SB-8, by party identification, Jan. and May 2022

(a) January 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican5545
Independent2872
Democrat991

(b) May 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican6040
Independent2278
Democrat1090

Approval of the Court, by opinion on abortion issues

While, on balance, opinion on abortion laws has not changed substantially, those preferences have increased divisions in approval of the Court. Table 10 shows the relationship between opinion on overturning Roe v. Wade and approval of the Court’s performance in March and in May. Approval of the Court increased by 19 percentage points among those in favor of overturning Roe, while such approval decreased by 20 percentage points among those opposed to overturning Roe. Approval also declined by 13 percentage points among those who said they didn’t have an opinion about overturning Roe.

Table 10: Court performance approval, by view on overturning Roe, March and May 2022

(a) March 2022

Overturn RoeApproveDisapprove
No opinion6038
Favor6534
Oppose4554

(b) May 2022

Overturn RoeApproveDisapprove
No opinion4751
Favor8416
Oppose2574

Approval of the Court’s performance also became more sharply divided by opinion on upholding the 15-week ban in Dobbs, as shown in Table 11. This question was previously asked in January 2022 but not in March. Approval of the Court declined by 18 percentage points among those who oppose the 15-week ban in Dobbs and by 9 percentage points among those without an opinion, but it increased 1 percentage point among those who favor the Mississippi law.

Table 11: Court performance approval, by view on upholding 15-week ban in Dobbs, Jan. and May 2022

(a) January 2022

Uphold DobbsApproveDisapprove
No opinion5544
Favor6533
Oppose38  61

(b) May 2022

Uphold DobbsApproveDisapprove
No opinion4652
Favor6634
Oppose2080

Approval of the Court’s performance also rose by 5 percentage points among those who favor the Texas S.B. 8 law and fell by 17 points among those opposed to S.B. 8. Approval also fell by 4 points among those with no opinion on S.B. 8.

Table 12: Court performance approval, by view on 6-week ban in Texas SB-8, Jan. and May 2022

(a) January 2022

View of SB-8ApproveDisapprove
No opinion6138
Favor6337
Oppose4653

(b) May 2022

View of SB-8ApproveDisapprove
No opinion5741
Favor6831
Oppose2970

Awareness of leaked decision

Following the publication of the leaked draft opinion in Dobbs, 40% said they had read or heard a lot about the draft opinion, 36% said they had read a little, and 24% said they had read nothing at all.

Democrats and Republicans were almost equally likely to say they had read or heard nothing at all about the draft opinion, but Democrats were more likely to say they had read a lot. Independents were twice as likely as partisans to say they have read nothing at all. The amount read or heard about the leaked draft is shown by party in Table 13.

Table 13: How much have you read or heard about the leaked draft opinion, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDA lotA littleNothing at all
Republican403920
Independent184140
Democrat493219

Those who favor overturning Roe are slightly more likely to have read or heard about the leaked draft than those who oppose overturning it, while those without an opinion are much less likely to have heard of the draft opinion, as shown in Table 14.

Table 14: How much have you read or heard about the leaked draft opinion, by favor or oppose overturning Roe, May 2022

Favor overturning RoeRead or heard: A lotA littleNothing at all
No opinion134344
Favor503614
Oppose463420

Perceptions of Court ideology

In the wake of the leaked draft opinion, the Court is perceived in ideological terms as a bit more conservative than in previous surveys. Table 15 shows the trend in perceived ideology of the Court since September 2019. Over this time, the percentage saying the Court is “moderate” has fallen from 50% in September 2019 to 34% in May 2022, while the percentage saying the Court is “very conservative” has increased from 5% to 23%, with an 8-percentage point increase from March to May 2022.

Table 15: Perceived ideology of the Supreme Court, Sept. 2019-May 2022

Poll datesVery conservativeSomewhat conservativeModerateSomewhat liberalVery liberal
9/3-13/195335093
9/8-15/205305492
7/16-26/2113374261
9/7-16/2116354072
11/1-10/2115353981
1/10-21/2217383582
3/14-24/22153736102
5/9-19/2223333482

Opinion of same-sex marriage and LGBTQ non-discrimination decisions

A large majority, 69%, of respondents favor the 2015 Supreme Court decision that ruled the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage, while 31% oppose that ruling, among those with an opinion.

An even larger majority, 84%, favor the 2020 Supreme Court ruling that a federal civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination, while 16% oppose that decision, among those with an opinion. Table 16 shows these opinions by party identification.

Table 16: Favor same-sex marriage or LGBTQ anti-discrimination rulings, by party identification, May 2022

(a) Same-sex marriage decision

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican4951
Independent7624
Democrat8515

(b) LGBTQ anti-discrimination decision

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican7228
Independent8317
Democrat946

Second Amendment

In another case expected to be decided this term, New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, the Court is considering whether the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a gun outside the home. Among those with an opinion, a substantial majority, 66%, favor such a ruling, while 34% oppose this expansion of gun rights. The trend in opinion of this issue has been quite stable and is shown in Table 17. (On May 14, a shooting at a Buffalo NY supermarket killed 10 people, all of whom were Black. In our survey we found no difference in opinion on this question between those interviewed before or after the shooting.)

Table 17: Favor Second Amendment right to possess a gun outside the home, among those with an opinion, Sept. 2021-May 2022

Poll datesFavorOppose
9/7-16/216337
11/1-10/216535
1/10-21/226733
3/14-24/226337
5/9-19/226634

Among those with an opinion, substantial majorities of both Republicans and independents favor a right to possess a gun outside the home, while a majority of Democrats oppose such a ruling, as shown in Table 18.

Table 18: Favor Second Amendment right to possess a gun outside the home, by party identification, May 2022

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican8911
Independent7525
Democrat3763

Support for possession of a gun outside the home, according to gun ownership, is shown in Table 19, with a large majority of gun households in favor of expanded Second Amendment rights and a bare majority of those without a gun in the home also in favor.

Table 19: Favor Second Amendment right to possess a gun outside the home, by gun ownership, May 2022

Gun ownershipFavorOppose
Gun household8317
Not gun household5446

Asked about laws that regulate concealed-carry licenses, 62% favor laws that allow someone to carry a concealed weapon if the person has a license to do that, while 38% oppose such laws.

A substantial majority, 81%, are opposed to laws that allow most people to carry concealed handguns without needing to obtain a license, while 19% favor such laws.

Views on these two types of concealed-carry laws are shown by party identification in Table 20.

Table 20: Concealed-carry laws, by party identification, May 2022

(a) Concealed carry with a license

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican8515
Independent6139
Democrat4258

(b) Concealed carry without a license requirement

Party IDFavorOppose
Republican3268
Independent2179
Democrat793

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson favorability

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to a seat on the Supreme Court, pending the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer. In May, 39%, said they had a favorable view of Jackson, and 23% had an unfavorable view, with 38% saying they hadn’t heard enough about her. In March, prior to the confirmation, 44% had a favorable and 18% an unfavorable view, with 38% lacking an opinion.

Partisan divisions in views of Jackson are shown in Table 21. Judge Jackson is viewed unfavorably by a plurality of Republicans and favorably by a majority of Democrats and by a plurality of independents. Close to half of Republicans and independents say they don’t know enough to have an opinion of her. Only about a quarter of Democrats lack an opinion. Following her confirmation process, unfavorable views rose by 7 percentage points among Republicans and by 4 percentage points among independents, while unfavorable opinion rose by 4 percentage points among Democrats. There was little change in familiarity with Jackson across party groups following her confirmation.

Table 21: Favorability to Ketanji Brown Jackson, by party identification, March-May 2022

(a) March 2022

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican173547
Independent351550
Democrat72324

(b) May 2022

Party IDFavorable opinionUnfavorable opinionHaven’t heard enough
Republican134245
Independent321948
Democrat65728

About the Marquette Law School Poll

The survey was conducted May 9-19, 2022, interviewing 1,004 adults nationwide, with a margin of error of +/-3.9 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 on the Marquette Law School Poll website. Some items from this survey are held for release one day from now (i.e., on May 25, 2022).

A note concerning wording of questions about possible past and future Supreme Court decisions: These items do not attempt to exactly frame the particular issues in specific cases but rather address the topic in more general terms.

Favor or oppose possible decisions:

Do you favor or oppose the following possible future Supreme Court decisions, or haven’t you heard enough about this to have an opinion? …

  • Overturn Roe versus Wade, thus strike down the 1973 decision that made abortion legal in all 50 states.
  • Rule that the 2nd Amendment right to “keep and bear arms” protects the right to carry a gun outside the home.
  • Rule to uphold a state law that (except in cases of medical emergencies or fetal abnormalities) bans abortions after the 15th week of pregnancy.

Opinion of Texas S.B. 8 law:

  • A new Texas law bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy, once cardiac activity can be detected, and it allows any private citizen to sue anyone who performs an abortion or assists someone in obtaining an abortion. Do you favor or oppose this law, or haven’t you heard enough about this to have an opinion?

Opinion of same-sex marriage decision:

  • In 2015 the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution guarantees a right to same-sex marriage. How much do you favor or oppose this decision

Opinion of decision that anti-discrimination laws protect LGBTQ people:

  • In 2020 the Supreme Court ruled that a federal civil rights law protects gay and transgender workers from workplace discrimination. How much do you favor or oppose this decision?