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CBS News poll: Does Roe v. Wade change motivation to vote and be politically active?

Although the potential overturning of Roe v. Wade has elicited a great deal of sentiment among Americans, almost two-thirds report that it hasn’t made them feel any more or less motivated to vote — at least not at the moment.

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But of those who do report feeling a change in motivation right now, Democrats are more than twice as likely as Republicans to report it’s made them feel more likely to vote. Perhaps that’s because Democrats also report feeling that there is more at risk, including their expressed view that overturning Roe will be a danger to women and threaten other rights as well.

Republicans, on the other hand, don’t see it as a danger and consider it a victory for the anti-abortion rights movement.

Right now, Democrats (most of whom favor keeping Roe) are more than twice as likely as Republicans (most of whom want Roe overturned) to say reversing that decision makes them more likely to vote this year. Three in four Republicans say it won’t affect their likelihood of voting.

Going into this fall’s midterm elections, Republicans may have started with an edge in voter enthusiasm, so this would be Democrats playing catch-up. It remains to be seen whether Democrats will eventually get a boost in turnout to match that of Republicans.

For most Americans, this matter may not be a priority election issue. If Roe is overturned, 63% say it wouldn’t change whether or not they come out to vote in the midterm elections. Views on this are comparable among all registered voters, and Americans overall. Historically, the issue of abortion has often trailed other issues as important factors for voters in elections.

Right now, a candidate’s position on Roe v. Wade matters more to Democrats than Republicans.

Three in 10 Republicans say a candidate’s position on Roe doesn’t matter much to them, but only 15% of Democrats say the same.

Some Americans will be expressing their views on the matter of abortion in other ways. Posting on social media is the most common approach for those asked about this, particularly among younger people.

People who support keeping Roe are a bit more motivated right now than those who want it overturned to take some of these more active steps like posting on social media, donating money or attending a protest or rally to express their views on abortion.

This CBS News/YouGov survey was conducted with a nationally representative sample of 2,088 U.S. adult residents interviewed between May 4-6, 2022. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, and education based on the U.S. Census American Community Survey and Current Population Survey, as well as to 2020 presidential vote. The margin of error is ± 2.7 points.

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