Impact of a Supreme Court Decision on the Preferences of Americans regarding Abortion Policy

32 Pages Posted: 16 Sep 2022 Last revised: 13 Jan 2023

See all articles by Raphael Thomadsen

Raphael Thomadsen

Olin School - Washington University in St. Louis

Robert Zeithammer

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management

Song Yao

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School

Date Written: January 6, 2023

Abstract

We examine the effect of a U.S. Supreme Court decision regarding abortion laws on Americans’ preferences for political candidates. The decision was leaked in advance of the official announcement, and we track the evolution of political preferences from before the leak to after the leak, and eventually after the formal announcement. The abortion issue was already very important to voters before the leak, but the Court’s decision did not simply make it more important for everyone. We find that the decision decreased the importance weight of abortion for Republicans while increasing it for independents/non-voters. Further, the decision increased Republican support for candidates who want to ban abortions, although this effect is diminished for candidates that oppose exceptions for rape, incest, or the mother’s health. Non-affiliated voters move sharply away from candidates who want to ban abortions without exceptions. The decision also resulted in a lasting polarization along gender lines whereby men became more likely to vote for a candidate that supports a ban on abortion, while women were less likely to support candidates that ban abortions.

Keywords: Voting, Conjoint, Abortion Policy, Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade

Suggested Citation

Thomadsen, Raphael and Zeithammer, Robert and Yao, Song, Impact of a Supreme Court Decision on the Preferences of Americans regarding Abortion Policy (January 6, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4218978 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4218978

Raphael Thomadsen

Olin School - Washington University in St. Louis ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

Robert Zeithammer

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Anderson School of Management ( email )

110 Westwood Plaza
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1481
United States

Song Yao (Contact Author)

Washington University in St. Louis - John M. Olin Business School ( email )

One Brookings Drive
Campus Box 1133
St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.songyao.org

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