Our most recent book is titled Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics. Among other things, it discusses state and congressional elections. Abortion was a big issue in the 2022 midterm.
Americans are more dissatisfied with U.S. abortion policies now than they have been at any point in Gallup’s 23-year trend, and those who are dissatisfied are three times as likely to prefer less strict rather than more strict abortion laws.
The record-high 69% of U.S. adults dissatisfied with abortion laws includes 46% who prefer that these laws be made less strict, marking a 16-percentage-point jump in this sentiment since January 2022. In addition, 15% of Americans are dissatisfied and favor stricter laws, and 8% are dissatisfied but want them to stay the same. Meanwhile, 26% of Americans are satisfied with the nation’s abortion policies, similar to last year’s 24% record low.
The percentage of women who are dissatisfied with U.S. abortion policies and support less strict laws has risen 18 points this year to 50%, compared with a 13-point increase among men to 41% over the past year. Both readings are the highest on record for those groups.
Abortion policy in the U.S. has changed drastically after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June. With individual states now having more leeway in making abortion policy, 12 states have bans in effect, and more have restricted the availability of abortions.
The abortion issue was on the ballot in 2022, including in several states where legislators tried unsuccessfully to change their state constitutions to restrict abortion rights. Even in states where abortion was not on the ballot in 2022, Gallup polling and exit polls suggest that it played a significant role in the election and was at least partially responsible for Republicans’ net loss of one Senate seat and failure to gain as many House seats as they had hoped.