know about Abortion matters in California’s 2022 election, poll says
A measure to amend the state Constitution to add protections for abortion rights appears to be on track for victory this fall as the issue of reproductive rights appears to be strongly motivating state voters.
A UC Berkeley Institute of Government Studies Survey released Wednesday showed 7 in 10 California voters support the proposed constitutional amendment, with a majority backing other policies aimed at protecting abortion rights.
Voters’ strong convictions on the issue are likely to boost the electoral fortunes of Democrats in the state this November.
Eight in 10 voters rated abortion as an important issue when deciding how to vote in congressional, state and local races this November, with 63% describing the issue as “very important.”
Among Democrats, 77% said abortion is “very important” heading into Election Day, according to the poll, co-sponsored by the Los Angeles Times. Forty-three percent of Republicans similarly prioritized abortion.
That could have a significant impact on races in the state this fall, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Berkeley poll.
“In terms of turnout and what it could mean for the November election, I think the abortion issue is a motivator for Democratic and liberal voters to turn out in California,” DiCamillo said.
California has several close congressional races this year, including races in northern Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Central Valley. Democrats hope that a high turnout of their supporters will allow them to win some close races in the state that could offset seat losses in other parts of the country.
Abortion will not only be on the minds of many voters, it will also be directly on the ballot. Proposition 1 asks voters to protect a person’s right to an abortion by including it in the state Constitution. The Democratic-controlled state Legislature voted in June to place the proposal on the ballot in response to the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark 1973 ruling that gave women across the country the legal right to choose abortion.
The poll found support for Proposition 1 in every geographic area of California, with strong approval regardless of age, race or gender.
The only sharp division on the measure was along party lines, with Republican voters opposing it, 49% to 35%. Among voters who described themselves as strongly conservative, only 23% approved of the ballot measure, while 66% disapproved and 11% remained undecided.
Overall, though, conservatives are a minority in California: 28% of state voters identify themselves that way, and only 12% say they are very conservative. Voters who identify as liberal or moderate support the proposed amendment by wide margins.
The latest voter registration figures show that Democrats make up 47% of the state’s roughly 22 million registered voters, while Republicans are 24%, just ahead of nonpartisan voters at 23%.
“Republicans and Democrats have very different views on the importance of abortion and how they intend to vote on Proposition 1,” DiCamillo said. “Throughout the entire survey, you can see this huge gap between the Democratic and Republican responses.”
If approved by a majority of voters in November, Proposition 1 would further protect the state’s progressive reproductive rights laws, which give anyone of reproductive age “the fundamental right to choose to have a child or to choose and obtain an abortion.” ”. Currently, those rights in California are supported by case law and statute, but supporters said the attacks on abortion access necessitated additional safeguards in the state Constitution.
California law allows a woman to have an abortion up to the point where a doctor determines that “a reasonable probability of the sustained survival of the fetus outside the womb without the application of extraordinary medical measures” or if the procedure is necessary to “protect the life or health of the woman”. In most cases, doctors have considered a fetus viable at 24 weeks.
Two-thirds of voters said they disapproved of the Supreme Court’s ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade and return abortion decisions to the states. That feeling is strongly shaped by ideology. Among those who described themselves as very liberal, 95% said they strongly disapproved of the high court’s decision; among those who said they were very conservative, 10% disapproved.
In the wake of the Supreme Court ruling, California Democratic lawmakers introduced more than a dozen bills and added $200 million to the budget to increase access to abortions in the state, including for those traveling to California from areas of the country. where the procedure is prohibited.
Gov. Gavin Newsom said the efforts will cement “the state of California as a reproductive safe haven for women.”
Among those surveyed, 65% said they supported new laws that would help women from other states get abortions in California. Half of voters said they strongly supported those efforts. Less than a quarter of Republicans supported legislative solutions, and 70% said they disagree with new laws helping out-of-state women get abortions.
Regardless of geographic region, most voters said they supported California offering help to women from other states, with support ranging from 54% in the Inland Empire to 75% in the San Francisco Bay Area. .
A large majority of voters said the Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade are concerned that judges may reconsider other rulings, such as those protecting birth control and same-sex marriage.
Overall, two-thirds of voters said that was a cause for concern, and the question again produced a wide partisan divide. Among those who described themselves as strongly conservative, 13% said they were very concerned about possible future decisions, while 88% of voters who are strongly liberal felt the same.
“I’m not sure you could be more lopsided in the polls,” DiCamillo said.
The poll was conducted online in English and Spanish between August 9 and 15 among 9,254 registered California voters. The estimated margin of sampling error is plus or minus 2 percentage points.