By Dave Andrusko
With the major media insisting abortion will carry Democrats over the finish line, many good pro-lifers are reminding their brethren of the cyclical nature of abortion polls. They really do come and go and when the surveys support the pro-abortion position, you can expect to be inundated with stories announcing that the results will only grow more and more favorable to opponents of life.
Many post-Roe polls were interpreted as showing a tidal wave of support for Democrats, most of whom identify as pro-abortion. But check out these two latest headlines: “The Most Enthusiastic Midterm Voting Group Will Surprise You”; and “Most enthusiastic about voting? According to polling: Republican men,” the latter of whom was written by Philip Bump and appeared in the Washington Post.
On Tuesday, I looked at the growing murmurs that American women in particular are going to flood the polls in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. Protecting access to abortion in the wake of the dismantling of Roe v. Wade quickly became a rallying cry aimed at November — but polling doesn’t indicate that Democrats have seen a big surge in support from female voters.
In fact, data provided to The Washington Post by the polling firm YouGov indicate that the group that reports the most enthusiasm about voting is the polar opposite of what many expect: Republican men. And that this enthusiasm has grown.
Or, as Nate Ashworth writes, “The standout group, among both charts, is Republican men, whose trend line is the highest of all groups and locked in an upward course.”
Bump’s analysis is truly fascinating. There are many very encouraging results that will be music to the ears of pro-lifers. [All underlining is mine.]
Now look at the pattern in the wake of Dobbs. Democratic women reported more enthusiasm after the decision was released in late June, continuing an upward trend. But Democratic men expressed a much bigger surge in enthusiasm — one that was fairly short-lived.
Republican women, meanwhile, didn’t change their reported enthusiasm much following Dobbs. But more than half of Republican men now consistently report being more enthusiastic than in other years to vote in November. They’re the only group above that mark. Their reported enthusiasm has also been trending upward.
The patterns are more clear if we look at four-week groups of reported enthusiasm. If we consider the four polls before Dobbs, the four immediately after and the four most recent, you see that enthusiasm is pretty flat among independents and Republican women. For Republican men, their already-high level of enthusiasm ticked upward. For Democratic men and women, enthusiasm increased quite a bit post-Dobbs and then waned.
The most accurate way to express what these results show is: Democrats did see an increase in reported enthusiasm after Dobbs, but Republicans remain more enthusiastic overall.
Bump concludes by cautiously opining
Does this mean that Democratic women won’t defy expectations in November? No. Does this mean that Republicans will overperform on expected turnout? No. But it does mean that — at least in this polling from YouGov — the idea that Democratic women in particular are newly and exceptionally energized doesn’t get much support.
We are single issue, but there is a reason Democrats are desperately counting on support for abortion. As Ashworth concludes, “Whatever the case, it’s a myth that Democratic women are fired up in such numbers as to overcome Republican enthusiasm overall or somehow account for Biden’s first two years of failure.”