A new poll has shown that abortion is a top consideration among a large section of voters, indicating the issue may be a crucial policy battleground in the upcoming 2020 elections.
The study, conducted by Monmouth University, surveyed 751 people from June 12 to 17. It found that over a third of respondents rated abortion as either the “most important” or a “very important” issue for the presidential election. An additional 30% of respondents said that the issue was “somewhat important.”
The poll found that Democrats were the most likely to rate abortion as the “most” or a “very” important issue for 2020, ahead of both Republicans or independents.
The 2016 Democratic Party platform included a call to roll back both the Hyde Amendment, which blocks the use of federal funds in most abortions, and the Mexico City Policy, which prevents U.S. overseas aid from going to organizations that provide or support abortion.
Abortion has played an increasing role in the Democratic presidential primary race, with Senator Bernie Sanders publicly backing unrestricted access to abortion up to birth, and Senator Joe Biden publicly reversing his decades of support for the Hyde Amendment.
Among Democrats most likely to weigh abortion rights in determining their vote, 28% said they support Joe Biden for the Democratic nomination, 21% prefered Elizabeth Warren, and 18% hoped Bernie Sanders is the nominee.
The poll also found that while a plurality--32% --of respondents said they thought abortion should be “always legal,” a combined 55% were in favor of making the procedure “legal with limitations” or “illegal with exceptions,” such as in the cases of rape or incest.
Ten percent of respondents were in favor of making abortion always illegal.
Of that 10%, nearly two-thirds said that their pro-life stance will play a “very important role” in the 2020 election. Forty-three percent of the people who said they believe abortion should be legal all times said they consider abortion to be one of their key issues for the presidential election.
Earlier this year, the Trump administration changed Title X regulations, prohibiting funding recipients from co-locating with abortion facilities, a move projected to cost Planned Parenthood approximately $60 million in federal funding.
At the state level, several legislatures have moved to pass so-called “heartbeat bills” and other restrictive abortion laws, many of which are the subject of legal appeals. Other states, most notably New York and Vermont, have codified the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision into law, allowing virtually unrestricted access to abortion throughout pregnancy.
Both Democrats and Republicans said that the other party as too focused on this issue.
Among Republicans, 58% said Democrats focused too much abortion but only 26% thought that their own party gave the matter too much attention at the federal level.
Surveyed Democrats registered nearly identical numbers: only 23% thought federal-level Democrats were spending too much time on abortion, but 64% said Republicans were disproportionately focused on the issue.