Election 2022

Nearly Half of Voters Prefer Pro-Choice Candidates; 18 Percent Don't Care

Plus: Brazil's Bolsonaro loses, fact-checking Biden on the Inflation Reduction Act, and more...


U.S. abortion numbers are dropping, and so is support for abortion bans. Meanwhile, many voters say that a candidate's position on abortion is important to them, with a lot more inclined to vote for pro-choice candidates than pro-life politicians. Three new datasets illustrate what's going on, and hint further at how abortion could influence the upcoming election.

Support for pro-choice candidates outpaces pro-life candidate support. In a new ABC-Ipsos poll, nearly half of registered voters—48 percent—say they prefer candidates who will keep abortion legal, while just 33 percent say they prefer candidates who favor strict restrictions on abortion. Eighteen percent said abortion has no bearing on who they will vote for.

The poll was conducted October 28–29 with a nationally representative sample of 729 adults, 621 of which are registered voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points for the whole group and plus or minus 4.2 percentage points for the registered voters' sample.

Overall, 61 percent of folks surveyed say abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

Thirty percent said it should be illegal in most cases, and 7 percent said it should be banned entirely.

Abortion was the third most important issue (16 percent) for voters in the poll, following the economy (28 percent) and inflation (22 percent). "For Democratic registered voters, abortion is the single most important issue (29%), essentially tied with the number who say inflation or the economy (28% together; 15% say inflation, 13% say the economy)," reports Ipsos.

Support for total abortion bans down among Republicans. The latest data from the Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI) show that support for total bans on abortion was down 5 percent in September 2022 compared to September 2020. The percentage of poll respondents favoring bans on abortion in all circumstances decreased from 13 percent in 2020 to 8 percent this year. That drop was steepest among Republicans:


Overall abortion numbers down; virtual clinic abortions up. The number of legal abortions performed in America dropped significantly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, according to data from the Society of Family Planning.

The group compared data on abortions from April and August 2022, finding a decrease of about 6 percent, from 85,020 abortions to 79,620.

"Notably, abortions provided by virtual-only clinics increased from 2,830 in April 2022 (3% of total abortions), before the decision, to 3,780 in August 2022 (4.7% of all abortions)," the Society of Family Planning points out. "This change represents an increase of 33% in the number of abortions provided from virtual-only services."


Brazil's right-wing president Jair Bolsonaro has lost to Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the leftist former president of Brazil. One of the founders of the Workers' Party, Lula previously served as president from 2003 to 2010.

During Brazil's last presidential election, Lula was imprisoned on corruption charges—eventually annulled—for allegedly taking bribes. Glenn Greenwald has suggested that the charges were part of a scheme to target Bolsonaro enemies, while Daniel Raisbeck has argued that Lula's conviction was annulled on something of a technicality, hinging on jurisdiction, and that his links to the "institutionalized disbursement of graft are yet to be fully clarified."

Raisbeck adds: "The concern for Bolsonaro's more authoritarian instincts and his recent questioning of the country's electoral system is justified. Giving Da Silva and the Workers' Party a free pass for monumental levels of corruption, not so much."


Biden gets a fact-check from Twitter on his Inflation Reduction Act: 

Biden tweet screenshot


What we know about the man who attacked Nancy Pelosi's husband in his home on Friday.

• A federal court has upheld St. Louis' cruel ban on sharing food with homeless people.

• This is a very good piece from Kat Rosenfield—a novelist, Reason contributor, and "lifelong liberal"—on why she keeps "getting mistaken for a conservative."

• Arizona's attorney general says the state won't start enforcing a near total ban on abortion until 2023 at the earliest, after an appeals court blocked enforcement of a state ban from 1864.

• A dangerous misunderstanding of liberalism.