Pro-choice Americans lose confidence in the country's direction

Carl BialikU.S. Politics Editor and Vice President of Data Science
Douglas RiversChief Scientist
July 08, 2022, 2:31 AM GMT+0

Among Americans supporting abortion legality, the share who say the country is heading in the right direction has fallen sharply in the last two months — first, after a draft of a Supreme Court ruling that would overturn the Roe v. Wade decision leaked in early May, and again two weeks ago, after the Court ended the constitutional right to an abortion by overturning Roe.

The percentage of Americans supporting abortion legalization in most cases who say that the country is headed in the right direction fell by 9 points, to 25%, according to the Economist/YouGov Poll conducted immediately after the May 2 leak of the Court's decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. The percentage seeing the country heading in the right direction held steady at its new, lower level until the first Economist/YouGov Poll after the Dobbs ruling found a 12-point drop to 12%. In just two months, the percentage of people favoring abortion legality who are feeling positive about the country's direction plummeted from 34% to 12%; it rebounded to 18% in the latest poll. (Among Americans who oppose abortion legalization, the view of the country's direction has remained steady.)

This finding is consistent with a concurrent big increase in the percentage saying the country is off on the wrong track among Democrats, who represent the majority of people who support abortion being legal.

— Linley Sanders contributed to this article

This poll was conducted on July 2 - 5, 2022 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens. Explore more on the methodology and data for this Economist/YouGov poll.

Image: Getty