RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Governor Cooper spent Wednesday in Wilmington as he continues his statewide campaign to protect abortion rights.
This comes as Republicans in the state legislature work to make sure they have enough votes to override his upcoming veto.
We have heard a lot from Republicans who voted for North Carolina’s twelve-week abortion bill, Democrats who voted against it and advocates on both sides of the debate. But what do likely voters think?
According to new polling by Carolina Forward/Change Research, 54% of likely voters strongly or somewhat oppose the abortion bill, while 40% strongly or somewhat support it.
“Most voters want abortion to remain broadly legal, broadly accessible and this reinforces that. That result didn’t really surprise me at all,” said Blair Reeves with Carolina Forward.
The same poll found 30% believe abortion should be legal in all cases with 29% saying in most cases. Thirty percent said abortion should be illegal in most cases with 10% believing it should be illegal in all cases.
While Carolina Forward is a left leaning organization, its polling falls in line with most partisan and non-partisan polling.
“Republicans are actually not as anti-choice as Democrats are pro-choice. And that’s one thing you see in this in this polling, one out of five Republicans doesn’t want this bill to pass. And I thought that was a really interesting result there,” said Reeves.
Last year voters in several states voted against expanding restrictions on abortion, including the conservative state of Kansas. Just last month six Republican South Carolina state senators blocked an abortion bill from advancing in that state.
Governor Cooper plans to veto North Carolina’s abortion bill this Saturday. But Republicans and supporters are confident they will have enough votes to override it.
Will polling of likely voters make a difference, though?
“Just one Republican legislator in the entire General Assembly needs to vote against their caucus, and this bill stops. Do I expect that to happen? Not necessarily. It could and maybe I’ll be surprised,” said Reeves.
One person who has been a vocal about his anti-abortion stance is Lt. Governor Mark Robinson. But he has not commented specifically on this abortion bill.
The same Carolina Forward poll gave him a three percent advantage over Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein in a head-to-head race for governor. Reeves said both candidates have work to do though because many North Carolina voters don’t know who they are.