The Hill has exclusively released another Harvard CAPS/Harris poll, this one on the topic of abortion. The headline of the Hill piece is “Nearly half of Americans say Supreme Court should uphold Roe v. Wade.” That’s accurate but it overlooks the fact that a majority of respondents want the law to be modified or overturned:
Forty-six percent of respondents said the high court should uphold the ruling in Roe if the issue comes before the justices, while 36 percent said the Supreme Court should modify the 46-year-old ruling. Eighteen percent wanted the ruling to be overturned altogether.
Add those two together and you get 54% who want the law changed. And when you ask people what will happen, as opposed to what they think should happen, an even larger percentage expect Roe will be modified or struck down by the Supreme Court:
But 49 percent expected that the Supreme Court would ultimately move to modify its position on abortion rights. Thirty-one percent believe Roe will be upheld, while 20 percent said that the high court will strike it down.
All of that is a prelude to the really bad news for Democrats running for president, many of whom have adopted an extreme position on late-term abortion. Almost no one agrees with them:
A plurality — 41 percent — said the procedure should be allowed only in cases of rape or incest. Twenty-nine percent said it should be permitted up until the first trimester of pregnancy, while 17 percent said it should be allowed until the second trimester.
Only 8 percent said abortions should be permitted up until the third trimester, and 6 percent said the procedure should be allowed “up until the birth of the child.”
Overall, that gets you about 14% who support 3rd-trimester abortion, which matches with a Gallup poll last year which found support at 13 percent. And yet, when Beto O’Rourke was asked specifically about third-trimester abortion in March, he said the decision should be left to the woman. When Pete Buttigieg was asked if there should be any limits on late-term abortion, he essentially said no. Abortion supporters in Virginia tried to loosen restrictions in a way that would allow abortion up to the moment of delivery. Virginia’s Governor appeared to go beyond that and support life or death decisions even after birth.
All of these are extreme positions that only a tiny fraction of Americans support but you wouldn’t know that from some of the coverage. Maybe if the media treated Democrats as wildly out-of-touch with Americans on this issue, candidates and elected officials wouldn’t feel as comfortable taking fringe positions.