Nearly Two-thirds of Mass. Residents Disagree with Supreme Court Decision Overturning Roe, New UMass Amherst / WCVB Poll Finds
Topline results and crosstabs for the poll can be found at www.umass.edu/poll
As the Supreme Court has now officially overturned the landmark 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, giving states the ability to independently determine a woman’s right to abortion, the results of a new statewide University of Massachusetts Amherst / WCVB Poll find overwhelming disagreement with today’s court decision.
Nearly two-thirds (63%) of the poll’s respondents say the court should not have overturned Roe, while only 24% agree with the decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a draft opinion of which was leaked weeks ago. No demographic groups other than Republicans (55%) and conservatives (56%) register more than 30% support for the court’s decision.
More than half (56%) of those surveyed – including 60% of women and 63% of those ages 18-29 – also said that Congress should now take action by passing a law legalizing abortion in all 50 states.
“Breaking with decades of precedent, today the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and in so doing now allows states to determine the legality of a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion,” says Tatishe Nteta, associate professor of political science at UMass Amherst and director of the poll. “While close to half of U.S. states will likely outlaw abortion, in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts a majority of its citizens not only oppose the court’s decision but support the Congress passing a law that will make abortion legal in all 50 states. Here in the commonwealth, the right to choose to have an abortion is safe for the time being.
“Unsurprisingly, on the issue of whether the court should overturn Roe, there emerges a clear partisan and ideological divide with Democrats and liberals expressing opposition to today’s decision and Republicans and conservatives indicating their support,” Nteta continues. “However, among Republicans and conservatives, slim majorities express outright support indicating that in the commonwealth the partisan divide over abortion may not be as stark as the one plaguing the nation.”
Indeed, nearly one in five Republicans (18%) and conservatives (17%) also agree with a law legalizing abortion nationally – more than those calling for Congress to make abortion illegal nationally – although 68% of Republicans and 69% of conservatives prefer to let states decide.
“Like it or not, the Supreme Court just made the issue of abortion and women’s rights a key factor in the 2022 midterm election,” Nteta says. “With over one-third of residents of the commonwealth indicating that a decision to overturn Roe v. Wade will increase their likelihood to turn out to vote in 2022, and that this sentiment is most pronounced among Democrats and liberals, this news will likely hurt Republicans on the ballot in Massachusetts and across the nation this upcoming November.”
This University of Massachusetts Amherst / WCVB Poll of 1,000 Massachusetts respondents was conducted by YouGov June 15-21. YouGov interviewed 1,131 total respondents who were then matched down to a sample of 1,000 to produce the final dataset. The respondents were matched to a sampling frame on gender, age, race and education. The frame was constructed by stratified sampling from the full 2019 American Community Survey (ACS) one-year sample with selection within strata by weighted sampling with replacement, using the person weights on the public use file.
The matched cases were weighted to the sampling frame using propensity scores. The matched cases and the frame were combined and a logistic regression was estimated for inclusion in the frame. The propensity score function included age, gender, race/ethnicity and years of education. The propensity scores were grouped into deciles of the estimated propensity score in the frame and post-stratified according to these deciles.
The weights were then post-stratified by 2016 and 2020 Presidential vote choice, own/rent, gender, age, race and education to produce the final weight.
The margin of error within this poll is 3.5%.