Republicans Maintain Midterm Enthusiasm Edge, but Democrats Are Gaining Ground

54% of Democrats are “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in November, up 6 points over a week
May 11, 2022 at 6:00 am UTC

The news of the Supreme Court’s apparent intention to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that’s enshrined abortion rights at the national level is revving up Democrats’ intensity for midterm voting, Morning Consult/Politico tracking suggests, but Republicans remain more enthusiastic about voting in November’s contests that will decide who controls the House and the Senate beyond 2022.

Republicans Remain More Enthusiastic About Voting This November

Share of voters who said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic about voting in the midterm elections
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Weekly surveys conducted among at least 720 Democratic voters and 681 Republican voters, with unweighted margins of error ranging from +/-3-4 percentage points.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about the midterms

  • Since an April 29-May 2 survey conducted before Politico published Justice Samuel Alito’s leaked draft opinion revealing that the court’s conservative majority had voted to overturn Roe, the share of Democratic voters who said they were “extremely” or “very” enthusiastic to vote in the midterm elections increased from 48% to 54%, while Republican excitement increased from 59% to 61%. 
  • Democrats’ increased eagerness to vote was propelled by women: 51% of female Democrats said they are at least very enthusiastic to vote this November, up 11 points over the week and at its highest point since weekly tracking began in September.

The context

The figures paint only an early picture of the potential impact Roe’s dissolution could have on 2022’s political landscape: The court has issued no official ruling, meaning services are still in place in states where they are offered, and many Americans have yet to hear the news. But at this point, the data does not suggest that abortion will upend the midterm dynamic in a decisive way.

According to the latest survey, 36% of voters said they had seen, read or heard “a lot” about the draft opinion, up from 23% in a survey conducted the day after Politico revealed Alito’s document. As is often the case, Democrats (44%) were more likely than Republicans (31%) to report hearing “a lot” about the news.

The share of voters who heard a lot about the draft abortion ruling is slightly less than the portion who said the same about news on inflation, and survey data continues to show that the economy is the dominant midterm issue for voters, despite a recent increase in prioritization of reproductive health care.

For Midterms, Economy Weighs Heavier on Voters’ Minds Than Abortion

Share of voters who said the following issues were “very important” when deciding whom to vote for in the 2022 elections:
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Weekly surveys conducted among a representative sample of roughly 2,000 registered voters each, with unweighted margins of error of +/-2 percentage points.

Abortion is rising as issue, but it’s trumped by the economy

  • Another Morning Consult survey, conducted May 5-9, found 79% of voters say the economy is “very important” to them when deciding whom to vote for in the 2022 elections, in line with its standing since mid-February.
  • The share of voters who say abortion is “very important” when thinking about their vote in November increased from 47% to 52% over the course of a week, including a 9-point bump among Democrats, to 64%. 
  • According to the Morning Consult/Politico survey, 1 in 5 Democratic voters now identify matters such as birth control, abortion and equal pay as their top issue when thinking about their vote for federal office, up from 10% before Alito’s draft opinion leaked. 

The latest Morning Consult/Politico survey was conducted May 6-9. 2022, among a representative sample of 2,005 registered U.S. voters, with an unweighted margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

A headshot photograph of Eli Yokley
Eli Yokley
U.S. Politics Analyst

Eli Yokley is Morning Consult’s U.S. politics analyst. Eli joined Morning Consult in 2016 from Roll Call, where he reported on House and Senate campaigns after five years of covering state-level politics in the Show Me State while studying at the University of Missouri in Columbia, including contributions to The New York Times, Politico and The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter @eyokley. Interested in connecting with Eli to discuss his analysis or for a media engagement or speaking opportunity? Email [email protected].

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