ANALYSIS: Poll shows Illinois more moderate than GA on abortion


SPRINGFIELD — A new survey released this week suggests Illinois is more moderate on the abortion issue than the current Democratic-controlled General Assembly, but it’s unclear whether that will cost Democrats votes in November.

The poll by Chicago-based firm Ogden & Fry – which is owned by a Republican candidate for Cook County Council – found that 40% of respondents describe themselves as “pro-choice with some restrictions,” including limits on late abortions. , while almost 25% describe themselves as “pro-life with exceptions” for things like rape, incest and protecting the life of the mother.

This puts nearly two-thirds of respondents somewhere in the middle of the spectrum, with just 21.5% describing themselves as 100% “pro-choice” and 14% identifying as 100% “pro-life”.

Perhaps more importantly, 78% of those surveyed said they believe parents should be notified before their minor child receives an abortion, including 35% who favor legal circumvention in situations where notification parenting is not possible or is not in the best interest of the child.

Even among self-identified Democrats, 61.6% said they support some level of parental notification requirement.

That’s important because the General Assembly passed a bill last year, which Governor JB Pritzker signed into law, repealing the state’s Parental Abortion Advisory Act. This repeal came into effect on June 1.

The survey of 956 adults, 95% of whom said they were likely or very likely to vote in 2022, comes with all the usual caveats.

First, assuming the respondents were selected completely at random, the sample size would give the poll a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2%.

Second, the owner of Ogden & Fry, and the person who did the poll, is Matt Podgorski, who is also a Republican candidate for the Cook County Board. Podgorski’s company did not receive a commission for conducting the survey.

Retired state Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, who supports Podgorski’s campaign, said in a phone interview that he suggested doing the poll and thought it would be good publicity for the company.

Polling analysis website FiveThirtyEight gives the company a ‘B/C’ grade, based on its track record in the 2014 gubernatorial race, when it accurately predicted the margin of victory. Republican Bruce Rauner by a single percentage point, and the 2020 Democratic presidential primary in Illinois, when he overestimated Joe Biden’s margin of victory by 8.3 percentage points.

A final warning comes from a professor of political science that I quoted regularly, Patrick Miller: “It’s a poll. It usually takes several polls over a long period of time before a clear picture begins to emerge.

That being said, the Ogden & Fry poll had other interesting results. For example, it showed President Biden had a 48.6% approval rating in Illinois — well above his national averages, but not necessarily surprising in a blue state like Illinois.

And Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker arrived with a 49.4% approval rating, with 90% among self-identified Democrats; 4.6% among Republicans and 35.5% among Independents.

It also found that nearly two-thirds of those polled, 65.5%, said a candidate’s stance on abortion was either “extremely” or “very” important in their voting decision. That number climbs to nearly 78% among Democrats, many of whom may be motivated by the leaked U.S. Supreme Court draft ruling suggesting the court may be on the verge of reversing its landmark 1973 decision in Roe. against Wade who legalized abortion nationwide.

Meanwhile, 52% overall, including 22.8% Democrats, said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who supports unrestricted abortion, while just 27.5% overall and nearly half of Democrats surveyed said they would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports unrestricted access to abortion.

This last statistic, however, requires some context, because in any case the decision is also affected by the alternative. Voters can, and sometimes do, vote for someone who is more to the right or left of them on a particular issue if the alternative is someone they consider wholly unacceptable.

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