The issue strikes a chord with a key demographic of voters: independents.
SEATTLE — Most voters in Washington are rejecting the Supreme Court’s decision to invoke Roe v. To topple Wade, according to new poll results in WA.
The US Supreme Court ruled in June to overturn the landmark ruling that guaranteed federal access to abortion. The decision is expected to lead to abortion bans in around half of US states.
Although the decision won’t affect access to abortion in Washington, based on voter responses, the issue could emerge as a major factor in the upcoming midterm elections. When voters were asked which issues are most important to them, abortion came first, accounting for 28% of the responses.
Of those voters who responded, 63% opposed the Supreme Court’s decision, while 26% said they supported it. Around 11% said they were unsure how to judge the verdict.
By party, 57% of Republicans supported the decision, while 85% of Democrats opposed it.
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Advocates on both sides of the issue told KING 5 that they weren’t surprised by the results of the WA poll, but what’s intriguing is the percentage of people who are “uncertain” or don’t take a firm stance at this point.
“When people ask good questions and learn things that could change their minds about abortion,” said Brad Payne of Washington State’s Family Policy Institute. “I don’t expect them to change dramatically, but there might be a slight shift.”
Legal Voice’s Kim Clark works to uphold current abortion rights in Washington state and said the issue is “incredibly important for midterm exams.”
A relative majority of Independents, a key constituency, also expressed strong opposition to the ruling, which analysts say could open up for Democrats.
“I’ve always believed that elections are won and lost by the middle, by the moderates, by the independents,” said Gary Locke, former Washington governor, US Secretary of Commerce under the Obama administration and political analyst for KING 5. ” Of course, both candidates will have to deal with the concerns, the everyday concerns of those independents, the undecided, the moderate.”
KING 5 political analyst and former George W. Bush press secretary Scott McClellan also suggested that abortion rights are an opportunity for Democratic candidates to sway some voters in the upcoming election.
“There is an opportunity there among swing voters to gain some support on top of your base on the Democratic side just on the abortion issue,” McClellan said. “I think Democratic candidates will want to focus on that issue as much as possible.”
While 43% of voters polled say they support state leaders’ efforts to help people in other states get abortions in Washington, a total of 37% are unsure or just slightly oppose or support these efforts.
“I think it’s going to become very clear very quickly the devastating impact of these types of abortion bans,” Legal Voice’s Kim Clark said.
Clark referenced trigger bans that will go into effect in nearby states like Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. According to the Guttmacher Institute, an abortion rights think tank, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion because Roe v. Wade fell.
“States like Washington really need to do whatever it takes to ensure access to care because people in Washington see that providers in other states are being criminalized for offering abortion care,” Clark said.
The WA survey was commissioned by KING 5, The Seattle Times, the University of Washington’s Center for an Informed Public, and Washington State University’s Murrow College of Communication, and conducted by SurveyUSA. It surveyed 825 adults from July 6 to 10, 2022. Of these adults, 731 were registered voters. The survey represented Washington state’s demographics with 47% from the Seattle area, 32% from western Washington, and 21% from eastern Washington.
https://www.king5.com/article/news/politics/wa-poll-washington-voters-roe-v-wade-abortion/281-38939cdc-4d2a-4a33-8a1c-21d6ffc28af1 Poll: 63% of Washington voters oppose overturning Roe v. Wade