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The countermajoritarian difficulties

Credit: Jake Grumbach and Christopher Warshaw

Not surprisingly, people hate Dobbs:

The American public is rendering its initial judgment on the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and most disapprove of the ruling, including two-thirds of women who disapprove. 

By more than a 20-point margin, Americans call it a step backward rather than forward for America. And women, by more than three to one, think the ruling will make women’s lives worse rather than better. 

And the support for abortion rights is more regionally robust than you might expect:

We find that a majority of the public in about 40 states supports legal abortion rights. Only about 10 states have majorities that oppose allowing abortions. In some of these red states, such as Louisiana and Arkansas, bans on abortion may bring policy into line with the views of the majority of the public.

But this increase in congruence between policy and public preferences in red states will probably be outweighed by the decrease in congruence in states with pro-choice majorities. Our analysis of polling data suggests that more Americans will live under an abortion policy that is out of step with their preferences, with consequences for democratic representation. This is largely because clear majorities of citizens in purple states that are likely to ban abortion — like Arizona, Georgia, Michigan, Wisconsin and even Iowa — support abortion rights, as our figure shows.

If the United States had functioning democratic institutions, this would be a real problem for the Republican Party!

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