Abortion Access Receives Broad Support from Ohio Voters, Indicates Preliminary Exit Poll


In Ohio on Tuesday, voters participated in a crucial referendum to determine whether abortion protections should be added to the state’s constitution. Preliminary exit poll results indicate strong support for abortion access, with 61% of voters favoring the legality of abortion in most cases.

Additionally, the exit poll showed that 60% of voters expressed dissatisfaction or anger over the US Supreme Court’s ruling last year, which eliminated the constitutional right to abortion. This dissatisfaction with the Supreme Court decision has fueled interest in the Ohio referendum.

The referendum, known as State Issue 1, aims to establish a constitutional right to “reproductive medical treatment” and prevent bans on abortion before fetal viability or for maternal health reasons. The preliminary exit poll results suggest that this issue has energized liberal voters, with a notable increase in liberal voter turnout compared to previous elections.

In particular, Ohio liberals constituted 35% of voters in the preliminary exit poll results, up from 20% in the 2022 midterms and 21% in the 2020 presidential election. This heightened liberal turnout is seen as a response to the Supreme Court’s abortion ruling and its potential impact on abortion rights.

Notably, the preliminary exit poll indicated that most voters (46-43%) supported Joe Biden over Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election, despite Trump winning Ohio in that contest.

However, turnout among Republicans in this election was down by 6% compared to the 2022 midterms, marking a low since 2012. Republican voters overwhelmingly opposed both referendums in the preliminary exit poll results.

Ohio Referendum on Abortion and Marijuana

In Ohio on Tuesday, voters participated in a crucial referendum to determine whether abortion protections should be added to the state’s constitution.

While the turnout among various demographic groups, including women, young adults, evangelical white Christians, and racial and ethnic minorities, remained relatively consistent with past results, young voters showed strong support for both measures, with 82% in favor of the abortion referendum and 87% supporting the legalization of marijuana.

On the other hand, evangelical white Christians, constituting 30% of Ohio voters, were more likely to oppose both referendums, with 76% against the abortion referendum and 70% against the marijuana measure.

The strong support for legal abortion in Ohio aligns with previous polling, which showed 58% approval in the 2022 exit poll in the state.

This Ohio referendum has gained national attention as it becomes a focal point in the ongoing debate over abortion access following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last year. Advocates on both sides are closely monitoring the outcome to gauge voter sentiment heading into the 2024 election, where abortion-rights supporters plan to place similar measures on the ballot in other states.

The constitutional amendment in Ohio, known as Issue 1, would reverse a 2019 state law that banned most abortions at around six weeks into pregnancy. It also affirms explicitly an individual’s right to make their own reproductive decisions, including abortion.

Anti-abortion groups have raised concerns about the broad wording of the amendment, but its passage could have significant implications for abortion access in Ohio. The outcome of this referendum will shape the state’s approach to reproductive rights in the coming years.

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