Supreme Court's Roe reversal expected to have 'net-neutral' impact on midterms, poll suggests

Supreme Court, Abortion
Anti-abortion campaigners celebrate outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on June 24, 2022. - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday ended legal abortion nationwide in one of the most divisive and bitterly fought issues in American political life. The court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision and said individual states can permit or restrict the procedure themselves. |

The U.S. Supreme Court's recent overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that made abortion a national right is not expected to have a significant impact on the midterm elections, according to a recent poll.

The Harvard Center for American Political Studies and the Harris Poll released the findings of their most recent poll last week, which surveyed Americans on a myriad of topics. Data for the poll was derived from an online survey conducted by the Harris Poll and HarrisX on June 28-29 of 1,308 registered voters, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. 

According to the report, while 36% of respondents said that the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization made them more likely to vote Democrat in the midterms, another 36% responded that the court's ruling made them more likely to vote Republican in the midterms.

Overall, 29% said the ruling had "no effect" on who they would vote for.

The poll was conducted days after the Supreme Court ruled 6-3 in a case involving Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban that there was no constitutional right to an abortion, opening up the possibility for states to ban or restrict the legality of the procedure.

Pro-choice Democrat politicians have madeeffortsto utilize the liberal outrage with the court's ruling to their advantage in the 2022 midterm elections this November. 

The poll also found that 45% of Americans support the decision overturning Roe while 55% opposed, and 69% believe that the ruling has "created turmoil." Thirty-one percent believe that it "settled the law on abortion."

The pollsters concluded that the ruling would likely have a "net neutral impact" on midterm voting.  

The poll shows that most registered voters disagree with claims made by some Democrats that the Supreme Court — with six justices appointed by Republican presidents — is "illegitimate." Fifty-nine percent of respondents said it's "wrong for democrats to call the Supreme Court illegitimate," while 41% disagreed.

Additionally, 62% of respondents said they think protesters shouldn't be allowed to demonstrate outside of Supreme Court justice's homes, and 51% think those who do should be arrested.  

Other findings of the poll include President Joe Biden having an approval rating of 38%, 64% of respondents saying that their financial situation has gotten worse in recent times, and 70% saying that they believe the nation is on the "wrong track."

Chairman of the Harvard-CAPS Harris Poll Mark Penn said in a statement last week that the upcoming midterms would be challenging for incumbents due to factors like the economy and a belief among many Americans that the country is headed in the wrong direction.

"'Wrong track metrics' about the direction of the country and the economy are the worst they have ever been in our poll," said Penn.

"And, crucially, our observed aversion to the former and current president as voters begin thinking about 2024 tickets is a major opening for an independent presidential ticket – 60% would consider voting for a moderate independent candidate for president if Biden and Trump both ran."

On the issue of abortion, the Harvard/Harris poll found that, despite many opposing the Supreme Court decision, very few of the respondents supported the legalization of abortion.

Only 10% of respondents said they thought their state should allow for abortions up to all nine months of pregnancy, while 37% supported allowing abortion only in certain circumstances like rape or incest.

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