If the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn Roe v. Wade, a new poll shows a majority of Texas voters would oppose the state banning access to abortions.
The UT/Texas Politics Project poll surveyed 1,200 registered voters in Texas. It found that 54% are against banning all abortions in Texas if Roe was overturned, while 35% would support it.
“Now, this is remarkably consistent,” said James Henson, the director of the Texas Politics Project at UT-Austin. “We’ve asked this question four times in the last two years and the results have barely moved. So, that underlines that Texans’ views on abortions are fairly fixed.”
The poll’s release comes as the Supreme Court — which has a 6-3 conservative majority — could soon overturn the 1973 landmark Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide. An initial draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico, which released it Monday, NPR reported.
Henson acknowledged that the poll was taken in April before that news, but with the expectation that the nation’s high court is expected to issue a ruling related to Roe v. Wade in June.
Breaking it down by party affiliation, Henson said 80% of Democrats surveyed oppose ending access to abortion in the state, while 57% of Republicans would support that.
“But a sizable minority, 34% [of Republicans], are opposed,” added Henson. “This is both an indication and, in looking forward, a kind of leading indicator of why this issue is not as straightforward for Republicans — particularly Republicans in an election year — as one might think.”
Texas is among several states with a so-called trigger law on the books which would make abortions illegal should Roe be overturned. A provision in the Texas law, passed last year, allows it to take effect 30 days after the Supreme Court strikes down Roe v. Wade.
Henson said the poll found that when it comes to the implementation of Texas’ trigger bill, independents “look a lot more like Democrats than Republicans.”
“If you look at the 12% or so who are true independents in Texas — not those that lean towards one party or the other, but will not identify with a party no matter what — only 26% support overturning Roe v Wade. 57% opposed it.”
If Roe is overturned, Henson expects it will create a “mobilization opportunity for Democrats” to get more people to vote in the 2022 election, including independents.
Henson said independent voters in Texas typically favor Republicans on issues like border security and the economy.