The issue of abortion is more important to Democrats than it is for Republicans when choosing political candidates heading into the 2024 election, according to a study by Public Religion Research Institute.
The PRRI-Brookings Institution survey of 2,500 U.S. adults was conducted in a post-Roe v. Wade environment in which abortion-rights advocates are fighting against full or partial abortion bans in about two dozen states.
“Reflecting the sea change in abortion politics, Democrats are now significantly more likely than Republicans to say their support for a candidate hinges on the candidate’s position on abortion,” the report says.
Half of Democrats surveyed said they would only consider voting for candidates who share their views on abortion, while another 42% said candidates’ positions on the issue would be one of many important factors in making those choices.
Among Republicans, 38% said abortion was a mandatory criteria in supporting a candidate, while 39% said it is one of several factors under consideration. Independents closely mirrored Republicans on the topic, with 35% viewing abortion as the key requirement in choosing candidates and 45% considering it to be one of several important issues for them.
Those percentages also reflected the breakdown for all Americans, with 39% voting solely based on abortion and 42% considering it as one of several important factors.
The survey found 22% of Republicans and 18% of independents do not see abortion as a major issue when voting for a candidate. Only 9% of Democrats said the same.
The study examined other litmus test issues many Americans use to choose political candidates, including immigration, gun access, LGBTQ rights and climate change.
Immigration was the top concern for Republicans in this category, with 45% demanding candidates agree with them on the issue. Only 29% of Democrats felt that way. Generally, 32% of Americans said they would only vote for someone who shared their views.
One area where PRRI founded partisan similarities was on the matter of gun rights. Although their views may be different, 46% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans and 35% of independents (35%) agree a candidate must share their views on gun access.
But partisans were predictably divided when asked how important LGBTQ rights are to them in choosing and voting for political candidates.
“Democrats (40%) are significantly more likely to only vote for a candidate who shares their views on LGBTQ rights, compared with 24% of Republicans and 23% of independents,” the survey says.
Among all voters, 28% expressed that view while 35% said it would be one of several factors in backing a candidate.