News Release

Democratic Women are More Motivated to Vote in States with Potential Abortion Ballot Initiatives than in Other States

Two Battleground State Polls: In Arizona, Two Thirds of Women Voters Favor Ballot Initiative to Protect Abortion Access; in Michigan, Women Voters Largely Say the Issue Was Settled By 2022 Initiative

A new KFF poll of women voters reveals that the issue of abortion is boosting Democratic women’s eagerness to vote most in states with potential abortion-related ballot initiatives.

As of mid-June, there are 10 states where voters may be deciding on abortion access in November, including 4 states where abortion is already set to appear on the ballot. In these states, more than half (53%) of Democratic women voters say that they are more motivated to vote this year than in past elections, while in other states, more than half say they are just as motivated as in past elections or less motivated to vote this year (57%). 

In states with potential ballot initiatives, Republican and Democratic women voters are about equally likely to say they are certain to vote (82% and 83%, respectively). In all other states, however, Republican women voters are more likely than Democratic women voters to say that they’ll definitely vote in November (80% vs. 72%).

The greater motivation to vote among Democratic women voters in states that may have ballot initiatives occurs even though they are no more satisfied with President Biden’s job performance than Democratic women voters in states without similar initiatives – a sign that the ballot issues may be driving interest.

Another sign of the ballot initiatives’ potential impact shows up in women voters’ perceptions about the election’s impact on abortion access in their state. 

In states where abortion will or may be on the ballot, two thirds (67%) of Democratic women voters say the election will have a “major impact” on access to abortion in their state, more than double the share of Republican woman voters (30%) in these states.

In addition to the national sample of women voters, KFF conducted state polls of women voters in Arizona and Michigan, two battleground states, that highlight the way in which abortion-related ballot initiatives may affect turnout.

In Arizona, which is likely to have a constitutional amendment protecting abortion access on November’s ballot, two thirds of women voters say they support the ballot initiative, including strong support among independent (68%) and Democratic (91%) women voters. Most Republican women (61%) say they oppose the initiative.

About six in 10 (60%) Arizona Democratic women voters say specifically that if the initiative appears on the ballot in November, they will be more motivated to vote, compared to 52% of independent women voters and 37% of Republican women voters. In addition, three-quarters (74%) of all younger women voters in Arizona (under age 30) say having the initiative on the ballot would make them more motivated to vote. 

That contrasts with Michigan, which approved a constitutional amendment to protect abortion access two years ago. Now, most Michigan women voters (60%) – including most Democratic women voters (69%) – say that the issue of whether abortion is legal in their state has already been settled. This year Michigan women are largely focused on inflation, an issue in which President Biden struggles among his Democratic base. 

Extensive results from the polls can be explored using the project’s interactive dashboard. The dashboard includes findings on the top voting issues for key groups of women voters, views on reproductive health policies, and how various issues may be playing a role in voters’ decisions to turn out or stay home on Election Day for the national, Arizona and Michigan surveys. 

Other key findings include:

  • While inflation dominates as women voters’ top issue in the presidential race – four in ten (40%) say it is the most important to determining their vote – one in ten (10%) women voters identify abortion as their most important voting issue. This group strongly supports abortion access and skews more Democratic and younger than voters overall.
  • Two-thirds (67%) of women voters identify as pro-choice, and three in four (74%) say they want abortion to be legal in at least some cases, though partisanship plays a major role in determining support for specific policies. For example, while most (57%) Republican women voters support a national ban on abortions after 15 weeks, most Democratic (89%) and independent (74%) women voters support a law guaranteeing a national right to abortion.
  • Some policies are popular among women voters across partisan groups. For instance, there is consistent majority support among Democratic, independent, and Republican women voters for laws protecting access to abortion for patients experiencing pregnancy-related emergencies, and for a federal law protecting access to abortion in cases of rape or incest in all states.
  • While most women who voted in 2020 say they are going to pick the same candidate this year, about one in six women who voted for President Biden in 2020 say they will either not vote or will vote for a different candidate this year, including 7% who say they plan to vote for former President Trump. By contrast, just 1% of women voters who voted for Trump in 2020 say they plan on voting for President Biden in 2024.
  •  A path to victory for President Biden would need to include strong majority support from Black women voters, a group that he won overwhelmingly in 2020. At this time, the national poll shows that a majority of Black women voters say they plan on voting for President Biden (70%) in November, though one in six (17%) say they may either stay home on Election Day or vote for a third-party candidate. For half of Black women (53%), the most important issue determining their vote is inflation, and many (55%) disapprove of how Biden has handled the issue as president. 

The KFF Survey of Women Voters and companion surveys in Arizona and Michigan examine the attitudes, motivations, and voting intentions of women voters to provide insights how this diverse, dynamic, and influential voting group views the upcoming elections. Additional reports examining subgroups of women voters and key issues will be released in the weeks ahead.

Designed and analyzed by public opinion researchers at KFF, the KFF Survey of Women Voters was conducted May 23 – June 5, 2024, online and by telephone among a nationally representative sample of 3,102 U.S. women registered voters in English and Spanish. The project includes separate samples of 928 registered women voters in Arizona and 876 registered women voters in Michigan. The national sample as well as the samples in Arizona and Michigan were from L2, one of the major providers of voter list samples. The margins of sampling error including the design effect for the national sample of women voters, Arizona women voters, and Michigan women voters are plus or minus 3 percentage points, 5 percentage points, and 4 percentage points respectively. For results based on other subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270 | Email Alerts: | |

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.