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A Reversal of Roe v. Wade Might Not Save Democrats in November

If the Supreme Court leaves abortion regulation up to the states, voters from both parties will be energized.

A demonstrator outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Monday, May 2. 

A demonstrator outside the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington on Monday, May 2. 

Photographer: Ting Shen/Bloomberg

The leaked decision indicating that the Supreme Court is about to strike down Roe v. Wade will have a transformative effect on life in many parts of the U.S. if the justices follow through. It will also undoubtedly reshape the midterm elections—though exactly how, and to what extent, it might alter the anticipated outcome of Democratic losses is unknowable. One thing is certain: An election set to hinge mainly on inflation and other economic issues will also feature a generational culture war battle over abortion.

Public opinion on Roe v. Wade has been remarkably steady over the past three decades. A large majority of Americans support the landmark 1973 ruling that legalized abortion. Per the most recent Gallup polling, Americans oppose overturning Roe by about a 2-1 margin (58% to 32%), nearly identical to public opinion in 1989 (58% to 31%).