Abortion top issue motivating protesters: Poll

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Nearly one-third of U.S. adults who feel inclined to protest are motivated by the issue of abortion, both for and against, according to a new poll. Abortion was only cited as a motivator for 6% of U.S. adults four years ago in 2018.

The new Gallup poll, which found 31% of those expressing a desire to protest motivated by abortion, also showed that just about 4 in 10 U.S. adults feel the urge to join a demonstration or organize. This is not a large change from the 36% who said the same in 2018. However, they are both larger figures than the mere 10% who felt the inclination to protest in 1965.

In 2018, no single issue stood out as the main motivation for protest. But likely due to the recent reversal of Roe v. Wade and subsequent legislation targeting or protecting abortion access in various states, abortion has revealed itself as the front-runner in 2022.

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Supreme Court Epic Term
Pro-abortion rights and anti-abortion demonstrators gather outside the Supreme Court.

Gemunu Amarasinghe/AP

Other issues prompting people to organize are Black Lives Matter at 22%, women’s rights at 19%, and civil rights at 11%.

Fifty-five percent of Democrats reported feeling the urge to demonstrate, whereas only one-quarter of Republicans felt the same. Abortion was the biggest motivator for protest for both parties.

The poll found a large disparity in income between those who feel compelled to protest and those who don’t. More than half of those making $100,000 or more said they felt inclined to protest, compared to only 22% of those who make less than $40,000.

Similarly, college graduates are more likely (55%) to feel the urge to demonstrate, with only 29% of those who didn’t graduate feeling the same.

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Gallup surveyed 1,013 adults by telephone between July 5-26 and reported a margin of error of 4 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. Gallup also said the “results based on the total sample of 397 U.S. adults who have had the urge to protest, the margin of sampling error is [plus or minus] 6 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.”