Republican Senator Lindsey Graham surprised his own party this week when he unveiled the first bill that would limit abortion access nationwide since the Supreme Court overturned it. Roe vs. Wade in an explosive decision earlier this year.
The move, which comes amid an increasingly difficult midterm election for the GOP largely in response to the SCOTUS decision, raised concerns among Graham’s own Republican colleagues who avoided a ban. national abortion rights months before election day. Implementing Graham’s bill would effectively ban abortion after 15 weeks.
A new poll released by SurveyMonkey and The 19th, a new organization focused on gender and politics, signals that Congressional backlash surrounding Graham’s bill may be just a warning of public response.
Thursday’s poll found a majority of Americans still believe abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 35% of voters say it should be illegal.
While the majority of Republicans support limiting abortion, with 72% saying the procedure should be illegal in most or all cases, 65% of independents disagree. Only 33% of independents and 12% of Democrats said abortions should be illegal in most or all cases.
The latest poll contradicts recent comments by former Vice President Mike Pence, who championed Grahams’ bill on Wednesday.
In an interview with RealClearPolitics, Pence said he was “convinced” that “the enthusiasm of pro-life Americans in states across the country is equal to or greater than any new motivation from people who support abortion rights.” .
Thursday’s survey of more than 20,000 Americans not only reaffirmed that the majority think abortion should be legal, but also revealed that most voters don’t think politicians are “informed enough” to create fair policies on abortion – a position held by 70% of Republicans. and 74% of Democrats.
Sentiment on abortion policies echoes greater pessimism about the government than 6 in 10 respondents expressed. Only 4 in 10 say American institutions “work well for them.”
Despite the skepticism, voter enthusiasm was relatively high among Republicans and Democrats, with 73% and 72%, respectively, saying they were excited to vote in November.
The new poll also reflects the increasingly optimistic outlook for Democrats, who were previously expected to lose heavily in a midterm election that historically favors the minority party.
Slightly ahead, 39% of those polled said they would prefer to elect a Democratic candidate for Congress, compared to 38% who would prefer to vote for a Republican candidate.
Newsweek contacted Graham for comment.