And the issue only grows in relevance as the general election draws closer. This week, Senator. Lindsey Graham (RS.C.) rolled out a federal bill that would implement a nationwide ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, a bill that immediately divided Senate Republicans hesitant to intervene on a state issue – and potentially inflame a debate that’s been hurting the party this summer.
The 19th poll also reflects widespread confusion among Americans over what exactly the end of Roe vs. Wade will mean for long-term abortion policy.
According to the survey results, 44% of people believe that abortion will become less accessible during their lifetime, while 22% believe that they will have more access to it. Notably, women are more pessimistic about the idea that access to abortion could expand, with 48% saying they think abortion will be harder to access, compared to 40% men who agreed.
General pessimism about the government permeates the results. Only 4 in 10 adults said American institutions “work well for them.” The divide is even starker across parties: More than half of Democrats agree with this statement, while only 28% of Republicans said US institutions work well for them.
The poll showed similar levels of partisan enthusiasm ahead of the midterm elections, as 73% of Republicans and 72% of Democrats said they were excited to vote in the election this fall. That was reflected in public polls for much of the summer, which showed Democrats closing an enthusiasm gap, particularly after the Supreme Court overturned. Roe vs. Wade.
The survey also showed a deadlocked political environment, with 39% of adults saying they would prefer electing Democrats to Congress this fall compared to 38% saying they would prefer Republicans.
The economy and “preserving democracy” are the top issues motivating voters, followed by “America’s place in the world” and abortion. For adults under 35, abortion ranked higher as their main motivation for voting this fall.
The survey was conducted online, in English and Spanish, with more than 20,000 Americans from August 22-29. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.