RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Last Tuesday the overwhelming majority of voters in Kansas voted against more restrictive abortion laws. Less than a week later, Indiana lawmakers decided to not leave it up to voters but to leave it up to themselves, becoming the first state to pass a law banning abortion since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

As a federal judge decides whether to rule in favor of a North Carolina abortion law—once deemed by the courts to be unconstitutional—the opinion of voters is quite clear.

“I think the people that sort of see these stories understand it could impact their real lives and we see it clearly driving some voters,” said Blair Reeves with Carolina Forward. The organization commissioned Public Policy Polling to question likely voters in North Carolina about one of the most debated issues in the country.

The polling results showed:

  • 55 percent favor some level of abortion
  • 37 percent favor more abortion restrictions
  • 28 percent favor fewer abortion restrictions
  • 27 percent said 20 weeks is about right when the health of the mother is considered

“There really isn’t a lot of support, public support that is, for banning the practice entirely though. That is really what we’ve been hearing from that side [republican] for a number of years now,” said Reeves

That opinion, to some degree, may be helping to shape something no one saw coming earlier in the year. In what should be a great year for republicans running for the N.C. legislature, they’re only one percentage point ahead of democrats. The Carolina Forward poll is consistent with similar polling across the nation.

“We’re seeing democrats really strongly outperform what we would normally expect to see in a mid-term election. How much of that is abortion, how much of that is inflation, how much of that is gas prices, they all kind of go into one and probably effect different groups in different ways,” said Reeves.

What’s not changed is that Governor Cooper’s approval remains far ahead of President Biden’s.

Reeves said, “Cooper has shown you can be a pro-choice democrat in a place like North Carolina and still get very strong approval.” Cooper has also managed to consistently bring in new business and industry which helps him to win points on both sides.

“He’s fit a lot of his success on that, and I think rightly so. He’s been able to work with Phil Berger and Tim Moore on a lot of those things as well, to all of their credit,” said Reeves.