HomePoliticsOpinion | Polls show Americans don't care much about Dobbs, and...

Opinion | Polls show Americans don’t care much about Dobbs, and won’t base their vote on it


dobbs it is a truly historic case whose ramifications will be felt, and not really known, for years to come. But as a quick-acting elixir for Democratic political problems, it’s a dud.

Several things are happening. Firstly, the May leak of the draft opinion stole some of the limelight from the decision itself a month later. Alito’s view for most wasn’t old news when it was published, but everyone had had a chance to assimilate the idea that it was indeed coming, limiting the shock value and making the decision a mainstream story for days. instead of weeks.

Then there is the fact that most people are not passionate about abortion one way or another. The number of people saying it’s a major concern has increased, though not exponentially and the effect may wear off over time.

According to the latest Harvard/Harris pollInflation is the overwhelming issue for a large majority of voters, with 62 percent saying it is their first or second biggest concern. Abortion rights are in a second-tier group of issues that about 20 percent of people say is a first or second concern, along with energy prices, crime and immigration.

A Monmouth poll found that only five percent of voters said abortion was her main concern — nine percent Democrats and zero percent Republicans. Meanwhile, a New York Times/Sienna poll I found exactly the same.

It is simply not possible to change a national election on the basis of an issue that matters to a relatively small proportion of people.

There is no doubt that capsizing Roe wrong polls. But there is also a perception in the popular mind that overturning the decision is equivalent to banning abortion everywhere, and that is simply not true.

Despite all the talk about the radicalism of dobbs, does not impose a uniform national rule. Rather, it allows states to adopt different laws as determined by their constituents who represent the diverse political and moral geography of the country.

This creates a lot of give in the system. California, Illinois and New York, which represent about 72 million people, may have rules as lax as the restrictive ones in Alabama, Kentucky and Missouri.

Of course, there will be people in every state who disagree with the prevailing opinion on this issue, and the provisions in a given state may provoke national outrage. But California doesn’t have to worry about any entity imposing its rules on it, and neither does Texas.

Anyone who did not understand this when the decision was handed down will probably find out in time. If someone in Burlington, Vermont, is terrified that access to abortion in the state is about to disappear, she will find out sooner rather than later that it is not.

The misunderstanding about Roe creates a confused and contradictory public sentiment. The aforementioned Harvard/Harris poll found that a solid majority, 55 percent, opposed repealing Roe.

However, a large majority was in favor of restrictions of the kind that Roe made impossible. According to the survey, 37 percent want to allow abortion only in cases of rape and incest, 12 percent only before six weeks, and 23 percent after 15 weeks. That makes a total of 72 percent of voters who support a policy that failed to become law for the past 50 years under Roe.

Also, given the choice, a plurality (44 percent) believe that abortion policy should be set at the state level, the arrangement that Roe did not allow and that dobbs bless

Most of the public disagrees with the broader criticism of the Supreme Court in the wake of the decision. Again, according to Harvard/Harris, 63 percent believe the Supreme Court is legitimate and 59 percent say it’s wrong for Democrats to deny its legitimacy.

The effect on voters’ stated intentions in the midterms was a tie: 36 percent said they dobbs made them more likely to vote Democrat, 36 percent more likely to vote Republican.

The political danger in the new abortion debate is obviously far-reaching. In many red states, the GOP will have trouble explaining sweeping bans on rape and incest. But the collective Democratic position on abortion is a maximalist policy that recognizes no moral complexity to the issue and is completely indifferent to public opinion.

It would be one thing if the Democrats adopted the basic Western European approach of allowing abortion before roughly the first 12 weeks. This would mean that most abortions would remain legal, while the party could play the political middle ground and try to isolate life advocates who favor outright bans. Instead, the Democrats want a federal codification of Roe that would once again eliminate any state discretion and, in fact, go even further.

Like my colleague from National Review John McCormack notes, the Democratic bill creates a right to abortion before “fetal viability,” or the threshold at which the fetus is likely to survive outside the womb. It also prohibits states from banning post-viability abortions if a “health care provider” believes that continuing the pregnancy would jeopardize the mother’s “health,” a term that includes physical and mental health and is supposed to should be interpreted “liberally”.

This would effectively guarantee abortion rights for nine months, a position supported by just 10 percent of the public, according to the Harvard/Harris poll. Additionally, the bill would remove a number of relatively minor popular restrictions on abortion, including parental consent laws and 24-hour waiting periods.

If this legislation ever became the true focus of the post-Roe debate, there is no way the Democrats will win it.

In sum, dobbs is not a magic bullet for the Democrats. Instead, it is an invitation to open debate and deliberation on abortion policy that has opportunities for the party, but also pitfalls that it seems completely oblivious or determined to ignore. And that’s one of the reasons he’s gotten into his current political arrangement to begin with.





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