Midterm Polls Show Good News For Dems Despite Biden Ratings

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A new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll asking voters which party they’d back in the upcoming midterm Congressional elections found Democrats in the lead by 5 percent, suggesting — per these results — that Democrats are gearing up to surge to the polls. The poll found a majority — 66 percent — of Democrats say the Supreme Court embarking on a “redirection” regarding abortion grows how likely they are to vote this year.

Recently, a draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court leaked that, if made final, would undo the national protections for abortion established by Roe v. Wade. Taking that step would at least in large part leave handling abortion access to state officials, including the zealously anti-abortion Republicans currently in power around the United States. Some states have pre-Roe abortion bans still on the books that could kick back into effect if the decades-old ruling is overturned, and some — including several where those pre-Roe bans are still in place — have passed laws that would automatically broadly ban abortions with rare exceptions is Roe is undone. In the new poll, 47 percent of respondents — who in this case were registered voters — indicated they’d vote for the Democrat in this year’s Congressional races, while 42 percent picked the Republican.

Democrats have a slight lead in the survey among independents, 41 percent of whom picked the Dem in the hypothetical general election match-up while 37 percent of independents opted for the Republican. Notably, the poll also found that some of the anti-abortion measures Republican leaders — some of them, at least — are pushing aren’t as overwhelmingly supported by Americans as these GOP’ers might hope. A full 64 percent of Americans said they don’t believe Roe v. Wade should, in fact, be overturned, while just 33 percent backed undoing the ruling.

The majority in favor of leaving Roe in place included 34 percent of Republicans — a remarkable finding for a party with so many leaders committed to pushing harsh restrictions on abortion. And, Marist explains, “Majorities of Americans support changes to abortion laws which permit abortion at any time during pregnancy to protect the life or health of the pregnant person (82%), provide safe haven for people seeking an abortion out of state (63%), or allow abortion any time during pregnancy in cases of rape or incest (63%).” Republicans have repeatedly excluded the possibility of allowing for exceptions in situations involving rape or incest when making their pushes against abortion. Electing additional Dems to the Senate could help with overcoming these problems — with just two Dems (Manchin and Sinema) remaining outwardly most committed to Senate filibuster rules, adding enough Democrats to the chamber to make the duo’s support less critical could allow for a change to the filibuster rules that might let Dems pass abortion protections with a simple majority.