In a CBS News poll released on Sunday, half of Democratic respondents said that Friday’s ruling ending federal abortion protections for every woman in the country made them more likely to participate in the upcoming midterm elections; by comparison, the percentage of Republicans who said the same was 30 points lower.
Those results may indicate a significant voter enthusiasm gap between Democratic and Republican-leaning voters that could hamstring the GOP’s efforts to win back majorities in the House and Senate, and thereby prevent Joe Biden from passing any significant legislation supported by his party’s base for at least two years.
And Democrats weren’t the only ones in the poll more energised to vote. Independent voters who said they were more likely to participate in the upcoming midterms as a result of the Roe decision outnumbered Republicans (28 per cent to 20 per cent). And a clear majority of independents oppose GOP efforts, currently being launched in states around the country, to restrict or totally ban abortion.
While Republicans hope to make the 2022 midterms a referendum on the US economy under Joe Biden, the party remains hindered by inter-party struggles and the very-public presentation of the January 6 committee, which for the past several weeks has outlined how many Republicans in the House and Senate cooperated with a potentially illegal effort to overturn the 2020 election and thwart the will of the majority of voters. Among the committee’s most recent revelations was the charge that numerous GOP members of the House sought pardons to protect themselves from criminal prosecution as the effort was underway.
The GOP also faces a unique dynamic in its efforts to retake the Senate in particular as it becomes clear that the party’s nominees in some of the most important races of 2022 are burdened with unprecedented baggage or are just weak candidates generally.
In Georgia, a Senate race once thought to be a slam-dunk against first-term Democrat Raphael Warnock could be slipping away from the GOP as the party’s nominee Herschel Walker faces new revelations of having multiple children out of wedlock whom he did not acknowledge publicly, even as he complained publicly about absent fathers.
Meanwhile, in Ohio and Pennsylvania, the celebrity candidates hand-picked by Donald Trump to win their respective races are both trailing their Democratic general election rivals in recent polling.
The CBS News poll released on Sunday included results from 1,591 US adults with a margin of error of three percentage points.