Ahead of the U.S. midterm elections, the topic of abortion rights failed to gain major traction as several surveys found that voters were more concerned with inflation and crime. As the cost-of-living crisis is unfolding around the world in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the initial wave of outrage about the Supreme Court decision of overturning Roe v. Wade has ebbed, weakening a key topic that Democrats could rally voters around.
A survey by The Economist and YouGov shows which groups among registered voters consider abortion to be a central topic as of late October and early November – and which don’t. The biggest disconnect is predictably between those registered Republican and Democrat. However, big gaps also exist between age groups and the sexes.
While 64 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds who planned to vote considered abortion an important aspect in their midterm decision, this was only true for 44 percent of those aged 65 years and above. The remaining age groups fell in between the two positions. With men and women, the engagement gap is almost a big, with 60 percent of females and only 42 percent of males considering the topic very important. The urban vs. rural divide stands at 60 percent to 46 percent, with suburbia also falling in between.
Income and race were less predictive of someone’s stance on abortion. While among whites, 50 percent said they were considering abortion “a lot” in their vote, that number was 56 percent for Blacks and Hispanics/Latinos. A majority of those making less than $50,000 and those making more than $100,000 a year said the issue was important to them in the midterms, while among those with incomes in between, just 48 percent thought so.