Latest Congressional Polling Shows Democrats Overtaking GOP

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Abortion rights are popular among Americans. Recently, a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court leaked indicating a majority of Justices were prepared to overturn the court’s decision in Roe v. Wade, which established the legally recognized nationwide right to an abortion. And in a new Yahoo News/YouGov survey, just 31 percent backed a “pro-life Republican” while 44 percent picked a “pro-choice Democrat” when asked to choose between the two in a hypothetical general election match-up.

The difference in support for Democratic and Republican candidates was smaller when voters were asked about who they’d choose between the two with references only to party affiliation. A full 44 percent of respondents picked a Democrat, while 39 percent chose a Republican when questioned about who they’d back in November without referencing abortion rights. In the event that the Supreme Court goes through with a decision overturning the abortion rights protections established by the court’s previous Roe ruling, handling abortion access would be left up to state leaders — and in theory, Republicans in control of Congress could pass federal restrictions on the procedure, although such proposals would likely have to overcome the Senate’s filibuster rules, unless Republicans torpedo the provisions (which is definitely a possibility). A full 69 percent of respondents said they’d “oppose Congress passing a law that bans abortion nationwide.”

Just 31 percent of respondents supported overturning the Supreme Court’s Roe ruling, and only 34 percent backed the idea of making abortion illegal in “all” or “most” cases — and the trend continues from there. Merely 33 percent of respondents backed the notion of their own states banning all or most abortions — a move that Republican officials in dozens of states could oversee if the Roe decision is overturned. States including Texas have laws already in place that would ban automatically ban most abortions if the Supreme Court goes through with overturning the decision. And there aren’t exceptions in some of these cases for situations involving rape, incest, or human trafficking — in Florida, where Republican Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed a ban covering abortions after 15 weeks into law, there are only exceptions for cases where not performing an abortion would result in serious injury to or the death of a pregnant person. A full 71 percent of respondents in the new poll said abortions should generally be allowed “when the pregnancy is caused by rape or incest.” Read more here.

Prominent Republicans like Senate Minority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell (Ky.) have focused on the supposed impact to the integrity of judicial decision-making from the leak instead of discussing the substance of the document, which is much more acutely relevant to the actual lives of Americans. There’s no clear indication of the political affiliation of whoever leaked the draft majority opinion, although some have credited the move to liberals. Meanwhile, there’s still time for the alignment of the Justices on this issue to shift before the court releases its final opinions.