Two recent Gallup reports show two different reasons why women’s reproductive rights may influence the next election cycles. Half of the voting age population is pro-choice, a recent poll found. And 21 percent say that single issue will be what determines their vote in the next political races.
According to Gallup data released on May 29, this 50-percent take (compared to the 44 percent in anti-choice sentiment) gives choice the lead for the first time in seven years. Only 19 percent believe abortion should be illegal in all cases, the poll of U.S. adults found.
In that same seven-year period, the number who use abortion as a sole vote-determining factor when choosing candidates also grew, rising from 13 percent in 2008 to 21 percent this year, “the highest Gallup has found in its 19-year history of asking the question.”
The issue still carries more weight amongst anti-choicers, 23 percent of whom say candidates’ stance on abortion is what determines their votes. The number who hold the opposite opinion grew significantly, however. Today, 19 percent of American adults say they will only support pro-choice candidates, versus only 11 percent in 2008.
Political candidates won’t be able to tailor any answers to the question when addressing different voter groups, either. This pro-choice growth is found in equal levels by all age groups and all political identities.
The only notable difference in pro-choice stance is in gender. As might be expected, 54 percent of American women support women’s right to choose, versus only 46 percent of men. However, women rule American elections. They make up a majority of registered voters and participating voters and have higher turnout rates at the polls than men.
A pro-choice trend is also present in recent federal court rulings, which struck down 20-week limitations to abortion in different states. The U.S. Supreme Court has refused to hear appeals of those decisions.
Featured image by Kate Ausburn via Flickr