Voters more motivated to go to the polls after abortion ban, reveals

Half of voters said the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down constitutional rights to abortion made them more motivated to go to the polls in next month’s midterm elections.

According to a new survey by the KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation), enthusiasm is higher among Democrats and those who live in states where abortion is banned.

The survey also showed that most voters, Democrats or Republicans, do not believe that abortion should be prohibited in cases of rape or incest, nor do they support laws that establish penalties for abortion providers and women who have abortions.

Results collected at the end of September in the periodic KFF survey of public opinion on health care reveal that even majorities of Republican voters reject nearly all abortion bans, as do red states like Texas, Missouri and Kentucky.

However, states with such strict regulations still allow abortions to save the mother’s life.

With Democrats currently controlling the House and Senate by narrow margins and several close elections underway, control of Congress may depend more than ever on voter turnout.

And while voters are less likely to choose a candidate on a single issue, a larger issue can sway them to vote.

The KFF poll shows that neither party has a significant “motivational advantage,” with more than half of voters, both Democrats and Republicans, saying they are more likely to vote in this election than in previous elections.

Voters who declared themselves independent said they were less likely to vote than in previous years.

The difference was in reason. Among voters who said they were most excited to vote, the top issue for Democrats was abortion, while for Republicans it was the economy and inflation.

Independents are evenly split between abortion and the economy. Nearly seven in 10 Democrats say they are likely to vote in favor of the Supreme Court’s decision, compared with 49% of independents and 32% of Republicans.

Among women of reproductive age, 44% indicated they were more motivated to vote this year: nearly six in 10 attributed their reasons to court decisions, and more than five in 10 attributed their state’s abortion laws.

Among voters living in states with outright abortion bans, 51% said those laws motivated them to vote, suggesting the likelihood of high Democratic turnout in several Republican states.

The poll found that 76% of voters who plan to vote for candidates who support abortion access are encouraged by the court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The results also showed a strong consensus: More than eight in 10 voters nationally oppose laws banning abortion in cases of rape or incest, as do eight in 10 voters who live in states with strict abortion bans, as well as more than eight. 10 voters who live in the state that protects the system.

While 70% of Republican voters approved of the court’s decision, most Republicans also said they oppose laws that would ban abortion in all cases or criminalize having or having an abortion.

Seven in 10 Republican voters oppose banning abortion in cases of rape or incest. About 64% of Republicans disapprove of laws that would make it a crime for women to perform abortions, while 51% disapprove of laws that would make it a crime for a doctor to perform it.

One-third of Republicans reject banning abortions once fetal heart activity is detected, usually about six weeks after a woman’s last menstrual cycle, which has become the basis for six-week abortion bans in several states.

The KFF poll also asked voters about Medicare changes under the Inflation Reduction Act, the landmark legislation passed by the Democratic-controlled Congress in August.

About a third or less of Americans are aware of the law’s health provisions, which include expanded financial subsidies for purchasing health insurance in the marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), limiting prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries who must pay. Limiting out-of-pocket, insulin costs, and allowing the federal government to negotiate certain prescription drug prices for Medicare beneficiaries.

The survey found that Americans age 65 and older, who benefit the most as primary Medicare beneficiaries, are more likely to vote for candidates who support changes in the law for health care costs.

The online and telephone survey was conducted from September 15 to 26 with a sample of 1,534 adults. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points for the entire sample, although sampling error may be larger within subgroups.

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