Approval of the Supreme Court falls post-Roe, especially among Democrats and women

Taylor OrthDirector of Survey Data Journalism
June 30, 2022, 7:49 PM GMT+0

The Supreme Court’s decision last week to overturn Roe v. Wade and leave decisions about abortion legality to the states has had implications for opinions not just on abortion, but on the Supreme Court itself. The latest Economist/YouGov Poll, conducted after the Court announced its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization on Friday, finds that Americans are pessimistic about the state of the country and have soured on the Supreme Court.

Americans are growing increasingly pessimistic when it comes to the state of the country. The share of Americans who say that things in this country are “off on the wrong track” has risen to 77%, up from 68% last week. This is the largest share who have provided this response since the start of Biden’s presidency. Concern over how things are going rose to new heights among Democrats and Independents. This week, 61% of Democrats reported that we’re on the wrong track, compared to only 49% last week.

Democrats’ recent gloom is likely attributable to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. This decision also appears to have had a significant impact on how Americans view the Supreme Court. Nearly half (49%) now disapprove of the way the Supreme Court is handling its job – up 10 points in the last week. Only 39% approve, unchanged from last week’s poll. Disapproval of the Court rose 11 points among Democrats and 9 points among Independents, while Republican opinion changed little.

This week, men and women hold distinctly different opinions of the Court: Men approve of its overall performance by 48% to 44%, while just 30% of women approve and 54% disapprove.

The three justices appointed by Democratic presidents are viewed favorably by more Americans overall than the share who view them unfavorably, while net favorability is narrowly negative for each of the six justices appointed by Republican presidents. In April, the last time the Economist/YouGov measured opinions on the justices, Justice Samuel Alito, who wrote the majority decision in Dobbs, was seen favorably by more people than viewed him unfavorably (30% favorable, 22% not favorable). Now 30% view Alito favorably and 32% do not.

— Carl Bialik and Linley Sanders contributed to this article

This poll was conducted on June 25 - 28, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll, and a round-up of YouGov's recent polling on abortion.

Image: Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash