Investing in Families Is Popular – Abortion Bans Are Not

October 25, 2021

New Carolina Forward polling on two items of national importance show that North Carolina voters remain divided over the issue of abortion, but strongly supportive of one of the Biden Administration’s key domestic policy priorities, the American Families Plan.

New Abortion Restrictions?

On September 1st, a new, highly restrictive abortion law went into effect in Texas which effectively banned the procedure after 6 weeks of gestation. The new restrictions, written specifically to challenge the constitutionality of abortion after a change in the makeup of the United States Supreme Court, was met with widespread protests and condemnation. The law created a “bounty system for enforcement, offering everyday citizens a $10,000 reward for suing people who they think might be helping women seek an abortion. By limiting abortion availability to only 6 weeks, it also automatically disqualified the vast majority of women who either don’t know they’re pregnant before then, or cannot schedule a procedure in time. (This was, of course, the whole point of the law.)

Many North Carolinians are unaware that Republicans in our own state have introduced similar legislation here. This year, 21 Republican members of the State House sponsored just such a bill – House Bill 31 – as they have in past sessions as well. Nevertheless, our new poll suggests that a majority of North Carolinians are opposed to any such abortion restriction:

These results align with past polling that has shown close but majority support for abortion rights, and reproductive freedom generally, in North Carolina. Notable is that partisan breakdowns are almost perfect inverse reflections of one another, with a narrow majority of independents opposed as well. There was a major gap in male/female responses, with men net-14 points in favor of a six-week abortion ban, and women net-16 points opposed.

Broad Support for the American Families Plan

One of the Biden Administration’s centerpiece policy proposals is called The American Families Plan. The “AFP” is a major, $1.5 trillion package of domestic investments ranging from community college, childcare, child tax credits, healthcare premiums to paid family leave. If enacted, it would represent a fraction of what the U.S. government spent on the entire Iraq War, but spent on American workers and families. Unlike the Iraq War, the cost of the AFP would be directly offset by raising tax revenue on people making more than $400,000 per year.

When asked, North Carolina voters registered solid support for The American Families Plan across nearly all categories:

It is very rare for a major piece of federal legislation to register net 22 points of bipartisan support among voters. Yet this result reflects a public weary of endless overseas wars, and the ballooning price tag in both blood and treasure they carry. Americans are in the mood for their government to turn its attention (and its pocketbook) to the home front again. 
Voters are also quite open to sensible tax measures to pay for those investments. A key element of the American Families Plan is that it raises revenue from ultra high-income taxpayers, who have seen their incomes rise significantly in the last two decades. Carolina Forward’s August polling indicated that voters support raising corporate taxes to pay for education investments - not eliminating them, as Republican leaders have proposed. By a whopping 2-to-1 margin, they also agree that investing in education is more important than cutting personal income taxes. While “tax cuts before all” are the modern mantra of the GOP, it’s clear that voters themselves do not agree.

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